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In the wake of the Barcelona Declaration, the Euro-Mediterranean Helsinki Conference in November 1997 issued a framework for policy and funding orientation at regional and national level aimed at promoting sustainable development and supporting high priority environment-related activities in the region, the Short and Medium-term priority environmental Action Programme (SMAP).

The SMAP programme constitutes the environmental component of the Euro Mediterranean Partnership. It  builds on the Barcelona Declaration, which "recognised the importance of reconciling economic development with environmental protection, of integrating environmental concerns into the relevant aspects of economic policy and of mitigating any potential negative environmental consequences".

SMAP concerns the 27 EU countries and 10 Mediterranean partners (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestinian Authority, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey).
The selection of the priority fields of action for the SMAP were based on the following criteria:
  • issues having a regional or transboundary dimension
  • issues responding to national needs for the protection and rational /sustainable management of the environment in the region
  • issues having animpact on human health and quality of life
  • issues linked to serious deterioration of natural resources, in particular damage to eco-systems, soil, water and forests, as well as to the impact of oil spills on the marine and coastal environment
  • issues with tangible contribution to the achievement of sustainable development in the region.

The ongoing follow-up mechanisms supporting the SMAP includes:

  • The SMAP Correspondent Network, it was put in place with the objectives of facilitating the implementation of the SMAP and of establishing an official channel for exchanging information, consultation and coordination of actions. The meetings of the SMAP Correspondents normally take place once a year
  • The NGO Steering Committee, it is an important mechanism for consultations and mutual information related to SMAP activities and environmental policy in the Mediterranean between the EC and SMAP Correspondents and the environmental NGOs
  • A regular reporting system. The yearly Reports on implementation by each Partner are the basis for discussion at the annual Correspondents meetings
  • A review mechanism, based on periodic evaluation and Euro-Med Environmental Ministers meetings.
Source: SMAP website

4th Mediterranean Water Forum