May 2020

Date: 29 September 2020

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Building a water and energy community around the Mediterranean


Quote of the Month

“To eat figs off the tree in the very early morning, when they have been barely touched by the sun, is one of the exquisite pleasures of the Mediterranean.”

>>  Elizabeth David, An Omelette and a Glass of Wine

اقتباس الشهر

“يافا التي أراحت البحر الأبيض المتوسط من عبء اسمه الطويل. فأصبح كل فلسطيني يكتفي بأن يُسميه: بحر يافا”

>> مريد البرغوثي، ولدت هناك .. ولدت هنا.


AMWAJ in Action

Statement on the adoption of the Water Reuse Regulation

On 13 May 2020, the European Parliament approved the EU Water Reuse Regulation in an effort to alleviate stress on freshwater supply through water reuse, in a context of worsening water scarcity. At least 11% of the European population and 17% of the EU territory have been affected by water scarcity, with levels exceeding over 50% of the population in the Mediterranean region during the summer.
This policy will increase water availability for irrigation, including during heatwaves. It sets outs minimum requirements for the safe use of reclaimed water, and will ensure that this resource is used more broadly to offset abstraction from water bodies and groundwater, which are being increasingly depleted due to agricultural irrigation, industrial use and urban development. All in all, this is an important step in transitioning towards a circular economy for water resources in the EU. It will allow for a potential 6.6 billion m³ of water to be reused per year by 2025, compared to the current figure of 1.1 billion m³.
The European Parliament’s press release can be found here, and its background research on Water reuse can be consulted here.
Press release


AMWAJ in Action

The Mediterranean is a puddle 

The latest piece from our Tayyarat series is written by REVOLVE’s Founder Stuart Reigeluth, entitled “The Mediterranean is a puddle”:

“And the sea is the same: this Green Sea for the Pharaohs, White Sea for the Arabs, Our Sea (mare nostrum) for the Romans, the Middle Sea or Mezzaterra for others, but this sea is not one, it is fragmented and torn, pulled and polluted, claimed and named by different authorities as their own sub-seas: the Tyrrhenian Sea, the Ionian Sea east of Sardinia, the Ligurian Sea off of Genoa, the Aegean Sea surrounding the Greek archipelago, the Adriatic Sea between Italy, Slovenia and what some call the Western Balkans. And many others… The French historian, Fernand Braudel, called the Mediterranean ‘a sea of many seas’, different and divided but sharing the same water.”

Tayyarat is the new content stream from AMWAJ, bringing you opinions, stories, and informative pieces from around the Mediterranean. We will be publishing a new Tayyarat piece every month.
Read the full piece


Made in the Mediterranean

SwitchMed announces new website

AMWAJ regional partner SwitchMed has recently launched their new website in English and French.

The initiative was launched in 2013 to speed up the shift to sustainable consumption and production patterns in the Southern Mediterranean, notably through the promotion of circular economy approaches. The programme aims at achieving productive, circular and sharing economies in the Mediterranean by changing the way goods and services are consumed and produced so that human development is decoupled from environmental degradation.

You can also keep up with SwitchMed through their newly launched Instagram and LinkedIn pages in addition to their Facebook and Twitter accounts!
Visit SwitchMed


Must Read

The Arab Future Energy Index Report (2019)

The Arab States region has doubled its capacity to produce renewable energy in the space of just two years, says fifth edition of the Arab Future Energy Index (AFEX) report, put together by the Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RCREEE) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), yet accelerated action is needed to achieve ambitious targets for renewables set by Arab countries for 2035 – and to step up the efforts towards overall climate action.

The report is an annual analysis dedicated to tracking low-carbon sustainable energy trends towards 2030 and ranking countries annually against over 20 indicators in the categories of institutional capacity, policy frameworks, finance and investment, and market structures. Report findings show a ten-fold increase in solar and wind power in the region over the past decade, and a doubling of capacities in the past two years alone. Seven countries in the region possess 90 % of the current region-wide capacity, with Egypt and Morocco together accounting for nearly half, followed by Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Tunisia and Sudan. Jordan has the highest amount of renewable energy installed capacity per capita, while Yemen made large gains in the midst of crisis through emergency development interventions.

Read the press release from RCREEE
Full report



EU COVID-19 recovery plan must be green and ambitious, say MEPs

In a debate with Frans Timmermans, the Environment Committee says the EU must remain firm on climate change and the timetable foreseen for the Climate Law.

The Parliament’s Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety had an exchange of views with Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President of the Commission, on the European Green Deal and on the European Climate Law.

As part of its resolution on EU coordinated action to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences, Parliament called on the Commission to propose a recovery and reconstruction package that “should have at its core the Green Deal and the digital transformation in order to kick start the economy.”

Mr. Timmermans agreed and added that the European Green Deal is not a luxury, but a lifeline to get out of the corona virus crisis. Pan-European answers are needed and a green recovery is not only possible but crucial, as Europe would lose out twice if we mobilise investment to restore the old economy before we make it green and sustainable.

Read the press release



We Art Water Film Festival 

The We Art Water Film Festival is an international short-film competition organised by the We Are Water Foundation, which aims to recognize and reward the talent of all those people with a clear awareness of the water problem around the world which are also able to capture it in their own film productions.

The main objective is to raise awareness of the water problem around the world through the creation of audio visual pieces that address this issue. The deadline for submissions is 4 June 2020. 

Register now



Water, sanitation and hygiene: world leaders’ call to action on COVID-19

Heads of State, Government, and leaders from United Nations agencies, International Financial Institutions, civil society, private sector and research and learning are mobilizing around a call for the prioritization of water, sanitation and hygiene in the response to COVID-19. 

To endorse the Call to Action email:

Join the call to action



Restore our planet – Digital youth forum

While countries around the world slowly emerge from lockdowns, on 2 June 2020 young people across the globe are embarking on a journey to become ‘Generation Restoration’ and collectively work to restore our landscapes – for people and the planet.

Register now for this exciting opportunity to join experts on the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, leaders of global youth organizations, and young practitioners in restoration, in an inspiring dialogue on restoration and youth action. Learn more through the Global Landscapes Forum’s newsletter.

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