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LIFE Third Countries 2004: Commission funds environment projects in third countries with close to €8 million

European Commission - IP/04/1089   09/09/2004

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IP/04/1089

Brussels, 9 September 2004

LIFE Third Countries 2004: Commission funds environment projects in third countries with close to €8 million

The European Commission has approved funding for 20 new environment projects under the LIFE Third Countries programme 2004. These projects will share a total EU contribution of €7,828,320. The EU co-funding will contribute to improving the environment and achieving sustainable development in the Mediterranean and Baltic regions. The 20 selected projects focus on capacity building and the establishment of administrative structures, as well as the development of environmental policies and action programmes in Albania, Algeria, Croatia, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Russia, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey and West Bank and Gaza. LIFE Third Countries is one of three funding strands under the EU’s environmental funding programme LIFE whose goal is to support the implementation of EU environmental policies and legislation. Funding under LIFE approved in 2004 totals €160 million.

The environment does not respect borders, so it is important that we help our neighbours improve their environmental situation and reach the path of sustainable development”, said Environment Commissioner Margot Wallström. “But the main beneficiaries of LIFE Third Countries are of course the citizens of these third countries, who will enjoy a higher quality of life.”

LIFE Third Countries in 2004

The 20 selected projects have capacity building as their main objective (development of institutions, policies, monitoring tools, training facilities, networks and data bases). They cover a wide range of themes from waste management and clean technologies to nature and bio-diversity conservation. Some projects promote a movement towards EU environmental regulations or co-operation at regional or transnational level. The total cost of the projects amounts to €12,182,000 and EU financing represents 64% of this amount. The projects will receive this financial support upon their compliance with the administrative and financial provisions.

Background

LIFE Third Countries is part of the LIFE programme. Established in 1992, LIFE is the EU’s financial instrument supporting environmental and nature conservation projects throughout the EU, in candidate countries and in some neighbouring regions. The general objective of LIFE is to contribute to the development and implementation of EU environmental policy by financing specific actions.
The objective of the LIFE Third Countries programme is to help establish capacity and administrative structures, and to assist in the development of environmental policies and action programmes in third countries bordering on the Mediterranean and the Baltic Sea (other than the countries of Central and Eastern Europe which have concluded Association Agreements with the European Community)[1]. The two other components of LIFE, LIFE Nature and LIFE Environment, focus on nature conservation and innovation in environmental protection measures. Since 1992, some 2400 projects have received EU funding under the LIFE programme, representing an EU contribution of €1,4 billion to the protection of the environment. For projects approved under LIFE Nature and LIFE Environment, see press releases:

IP/04/1087 and IP/04/1088.
A summary of the 20 selected projects in third countries can be found in the annex to this press release. More detailed information on each project is available at:

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/life/project/index.htm

ANNEX

Life third countries 2004 - selected projects

Albania

Sustainable traffic development in Tirana

Beneficiary: Environmental Centre for Administration and Technology (ECAT), Tirana

LIFE Third Countries contribution: €338,513

The project covers a range of issues concerning the urban environment in Tirana. Detailed data about the present traffic networks will be collected and a traffic management plan for the city will be formulated. Traffic related air quality problems are to be assessed and hotspots of air-pollution are to be identified. Also, the existing legal framework will be analysed with a view to bringing it into line with European legislation.

Croatia

Development of guidelines to implement the Waste Management Plan in Croatia

Beneficiary: Ministry of Environmental Protection, Physical Planning and Construction

LIFE Third Countries contribution: €484,000

Waste management problems are the most acute environmental problem in Croatia. The overall objective of the project is to establish the necessary capacities to implement the National Waste Management Strategy. Its purpose is to prepare a detailed and systematic database in order to help start remediation, recovery and/or closure of existing landfills.

Capacity building to implement the United Nation’s Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol in Croatia

Beneficiary: Ministry of Environmental Protection, Physical Planning and Construction

LIFE Third Countries contribution: €368,870

The project aims to establish institutional, legislative and organisational capacities for the implementation of Croatia’s obligations under the United Nation’s Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol. The project will address capacity building needs, develop implementation strategies and action plans, draft necessary legislation, prepare guidelines for sector-specific operational programmes and set up a system for the implementation of Kyoto’s flexible mechanisms. The project will also promote education and public awareness related to climate change.

Establishing institutional capacities for the protection of the River Mura Landscape

Beneficiary: Ministry of Environmental Protection and Physical Planning, Zagreb, Croatia

LIFE Third Countries contribution: €219,000

Despite its status of “Protected Landscape”, effective protection measures and opportunities for sustainable development for the River Mura Landscape are still to be developed. The project will implement a number of activities, such as education, awareness raising and monitoring, aimed at building up local capacity to manage the protected landscape of the River Mura.

Egypt

Integrated Solid Waste Management for Al Fayoum and Etsa

Beneficiary: Dr. Ahmed Abdel-Warith Consulting Engineers

LIFE Third Countries contribution: €299,900

The project aims to develop an integrated solid waste management system for the cities of Fayoum and Etsa in the Fayoum Governorate, through: the implementation of sustainable waste management concepts; strengthening of planning and management capacities; improving access to information; and increasing public awareness of waste management issues.

Demonstration of clean technologies in tanning processes

Beneficiary: Egyptian Ministry of Industry and Technological Development

LIFE Third Countries contribution: €521,990

The Egyptian tanning industry has negative environmental impacts through the use of great quantities of chemicals and water, which produce solid waste and wastewater. The project’s main objective is to show clean technologies to Egyptian tanneries. Actions under the project will include establishing an environmental laboratory; the design and set-up of a pilot tanning plant and a pilot wastewater treatment plant complemented by training of technical staff in related environmental analyses; and the practical functioning of both pilot plants.

Israel

Southern Arava sustainable waste management plan

Beneficiary: Hevel Eliot Regional Council

LIFE Third Countries contribution: €372,078

The project aims to develop a strategy for handling all agricultural and some municipal waste (solid and liquid) generated in the Southern Arava. The project will employ cross border cooperation and coordination between Israel and Jordan. The foreseen activities are: an integrated approach of converting organic waste streams into raw materials; the creation of wetland for wildlife habitat; and community based educational programmes and awareness activities.

Jordan

Integration of economic instruments and voluntary agreements in the environmental policies of Jordan and Syria

Beneficiary: Ministry of Environment, Jordan

LIFE Third Countries contribution: €376,810

The overall objective of the project is the improvement of environmental protection in Jordan and Syria, and the development of shared responsibilities among different parties in each country. The project aims to integrate the environment into a sustainable framework for economic and social development by developing a broader range of environmental policy tools, including economic instruments and voluntary agreements.

Lebanon

Alleviating barriers to quarries rehabilitation in Lebanon

Beneficiary: Ministry of Environment, Lebanon

LIFE Third Countries contribution: €316,167

The project aims to alleviate the legal, institutional, technical and financial barriers to quarry rehabilitation in Lebanon. It will review the existing framework for quarry rehabilitation in Lebanon and international experience, develop a GIS[2]-based Decision Support System, identify barriers and develop measures to overcome them, and organise awareness campaigns to encourage quarry owners to implement rehabilitation programmes.

Mediterranean region

Building capacity for sustainable hunting of migratory birds in Mediterranean third countries (Lebanon, Tunisia)

Beneficiary: BirdLife International

LIFE Third Countries contribution: €466,347

The project aims to strengthen the management of bird hunting in order to: reduce excessive, indiscriminate and illegal hunting of migratory birds; promote more sustainable hunting practices; and enhance compliance with international and regional agreements on the conservation of migratory birds.

Strengthening the economic tools for environmental sustainability in METAP countries and territories (Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, West Bank and Gaza)

Beneficiary: The World Bank

LIFE Third Countries contribution: €531,799

The objective of the project is to provide a mechanism for enhancing the capacity of Mediterranean countries to apply a series of environmental economic tools, with a view to better incorporating the full social costs of alternative policies and investments into policy and decision-making.

The project will also establish Policy, Programme and Evaluation Units at the ministries, which will be responsible for dealing with economic assessments.

Morocco

Development of a pilot model of eco-efficient industrial estates

Beneficiary: Chamber of Industries and Services of Settat, Morocco

LIFE Third Countries contribution: €325,010

The project aims to promote the transformation of the Berrechid site into an organised industrial park. The park will serve as a pilot model to demonstrate how an integrated management system can be developed, and to enhance the environmental awareness of industries.

Marrakech Environmental Management Audit Scheme

Beneficiary: Conseil de la ville de Marrakech

LIFE Third Countries contribution: €412,441

The project aims to outline an Environmental Management System in compliance with EMAS and adapted to the administrative structures of the “Conseil de la ville de Marrakech”. Amongst other activities, the project will: inform City Council staff about the characteristics of EMAS regulation and training; assess environmental aspects of the City Council activities; and assist in the implementation of a system in compliance with ISO 14001 standards.

Russia

Development of the Narva Groundwater Management Plan

Beneficiary: St. Petersburg Geological Expedition, Ministry of National Resources, Russian Federation

LIFE Third Countries contribution: €508,720

The project supports sustainable management of ground water resources on the Russian-Estonian border. Administrative responsibilities for ground water resources management will be clarified; an inventory and assessment of the past and present pollution sources will be furnished; and a programme of rehabilitation measures will be elaborated for the polluted groundwater resources.

Bringing regional Protected Areas of the Leningrad Region (Russian Federation) into European context

Beneficiary: IUCN – The World Conservation Union

LIFE Third Countries contribution: €403,857

The project aims to achieve sustainable development for the network of protected areas within the Leningrad Region. It will help to: analyse the regional system of protected areas (PA); develop legal frameworks; initiate management of PA according to European standards; and promote collaboration with local people and businesses. The project will train PA personnel, prepare and disseminate information material and involve local experts and decision makers in planning PA management.

Information and communication technologies to strengthen sustainable city development

Beneficiary: Committee for Nature Use, Protection and Ecological Safety, St. Petersburg, City Administration

LIFE Third Countries contribution: €243,468

Within the pilot area of the municipality of St. Petersburg, the project aims to strengthen the capacity of local governmental bodies in using of up-to-date information technologies and data resources for environmental management. Information resources currently scattered among different institutions will be organised into one information system. This system will enhance access to, and availability of, information resources.

Syria

Promotion of concerted sustainable local development planning in Syria

Beneficiary: Fund for Integrated Rural Development of Syria

LIFE Third Countries contribution: €358,820

The project’s objective is to promote sustainable development and environmental protection in Syria. This will be achieved through the enhancement of local development planning and Local Agenda 21 implementation, plus support to planning initiatives in local communities.

Tunisia

Demonstration of wastewater treatment in Tunisian tanneries

Beneficiary: Centre National du Cuir et de la Chaussure

LIFE Third Countries contribution: €536,970

The principal goal of the project is to create an infrastructure to demonstrate and disseminate the use of wastewater treatment technologies in the Tunisian tanning industry. The project will support the capacities of the “Centre National du Cuir et de la Chaussure” with the creation of a specialised environmental unit.

Turkey

Establishment of an information system for Turkish SMEs on EU environmental approximation

Beneficiary: Hacettepe University, Turkey

LIFE Third Countries contribution: €397,860

The project aims to enhance capacities in the environmental sector, specifically through making available to Turkish SMEs a database containing the Turkish environmental legislation. It will: review current legislation; develop an information system on EU environmental approximation; prepare an approximation strategy for the “End of Life Vehicles” Directive; and provide training to the users of the information system.

Supporting education for sustainable development activities in Turkey

Beneficiary: Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe (REC)

LIFE Third Countries contribution: €345,700

The overall objective of the project is to build capacity, transfer know-how and establish a reliable basis in the field of education for sustainable development in Turkey. The project will: raise the environmental awareness of teachers and pupils; provide up-to-date materials in appropriate formats (the Turkish Green Pack multi-media educational kit); and train teachers, enhancing their capacity to develop new approaches to sustainable development issues.


[1] Eligible countries/territories under LIFE Third Countries are: Albania, Algeria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, the West Bank and Gaza, and the Baltic shoreline of Russia (Kaliningrad and St. Petersburg regions).

[2] Geographical Information System


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