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Palestine - 8th July National webinar Horizon 2020 and SEIS achievements

Countries: Palestine

In the framework of the EU funded project ENI SEIS II South Support Mechanism, the SEIS national team of Palestine organised on 8th July 2020 via an online platform a national webinar. The meeting gathered representatives from different national institutions such as Environment Quality Authority (EQA), Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), Palestinian Water Authority (PWA) and Ministry of Local Government (MoLG), as well as the European Environment Agency (EEA), UNEP/MAP Barcelona Convention, Environment Agency Austria and European Topic Centre Inland, Coastal and Marine Water (ETC/ICM) - Deltares.

The purpose of the meeting was to present the main conclusions from the Horizon 2020 assessment (regional and national assessment) and exchange on the main achievements and success stories that marks the 4 years of cooperation effort and engagement in support to EU external policy initiative and implementation of SEIS principles in the Mediterranean region.

The meeting took stock of the main achievements, presented the main conclusions from the H2020 regional assessment report, and shared the success stories.

At national level, several achievements and building blocks for further implementation of the SEIS principles are in place, such as the adoption of national list of indicators (including SEIS-H2020 indicators) and efforts towards the production of regular state of environment reports. In addition, Palestine has very well organised national team in place allowing for coordination and cooperation across different disciplines – which took its full dimension while building the Palestinian Environmental Information System, acknowledging the high value of such collaboration to face challenges, it is recognised as a great achievement despite the difficulties encountered. Palestine made considerable investments on spatial information and openly accessible and interoperable information systems such as Geospatial portal “GeoMOLG”, Geospatial Water information System “MAWARED”, together with the PCBS portal on “Indicators “, EQA Industrial Pollution Inventory System and the National SDI initiative.

Good quality data for decision makers and good assessments remains a challenge especially in the waste and industrial emissions sector. While in the waste sector, data exists but will gain from a systematic automatized monitoring of waste collected. Participants indicated as well that within the waste management sector, there is need to develop and put in place standard management procedures for waste collection, treatment, disposal, and leachates. Waste and industrial emissions remain a priority for the agenda post 2020, developing information systems for both thematic and capacity building remains a priority at national level.

The Palestinian participants expressed their gratitude to EEA and UNEP/MAP for their support to achieve the project results and support towards a regular production and sharing of quality assessed environmental data, indicators and information in line with SEIS principles. More specifically EQA representatives expressed appreciation of the InCountry support provided to build the Palestinian Environmental Information System, which now operate as national data portal for all main stakeholders gathering the all environmental data and indicators of relevance to inform future national State of Environment reports and fulfil other reporting obligations such as the agenda 2030 SDG.

On behalf of the European Environment Agency and UNEP/MAP, Cécile Roddier-Quefelec thank the participants and SEIS national team for the opportunity of this exchange, demonstrating the efforts made contributing to important achievements. It’s not the end of the journey, these results and achievements constitute the body of evidence to feed-in the policy discussions and future commitments on the next agenda of the euro-Mediterranean region. She indicated as well the opportunity for Palestine to share this experience and achievements with the other partner countries during a closing event of the ENI SEIS II South Support Mechanism to digitally take place in September 2020.  

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