Key Insights from the MedECC Plenary Consultation on the WEFE Nexus in the Mediterranean Basin

MedECC Plenary Consultation

The approval process for MedECC Summary for Policymakers (SPM) is a crucial step in ensuring their accuracy, clarity, and scientific robustness. The Plenary Consultation aims to strengthen the SPM by ensuring that its statements are direct, clear, and unambiguous. This enhances the accessibility and usefulness of the SPM for stakeholders. The Plenary also provides a unique opportunity for invited representatives to engage directly with a report task force. 

The Plenary Consultation on the SPM of the MedECC Special Report on “Interlinking climate change with water – energy – food – ecosystems (WEFE) nexus in the Mediterranean Basin” was held and concluded on April 29, 2024. The Plenary gathered the MedECC Coordinators, the Report Coordinators, and the Coordinating Lead Authors, with the invited delegates and stakeholders, representing overall 18 countries. The invited representaves included the Union for the Mediterranean Climate Change Expert Group (UfM CCEG) members, the UfM Working Group on Environment and Climate Change (WG ENV-CC) members, the Mediterranean Action Plan of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP/MAP-Barcelona Convention) Focal Points, and Plan Bleu Focal Points, the Members of the Mediterranean Commission on Sustainable Development (MCSD), and all the partner institutions.

A successfull day

The Consultation commenced with opening remarks by MedECC coordinator, Fatima Driouech. We were honored to begin the session with insightful speeches from Tatjana Hema (Coordinator, UNEP/MAP – Barcelona Convention Secretariat) and Nasser Kamel (Secretary General, Union for the Mediterranean). Throughout the day, the sessions were expertly chaired by Marie-Claire Boillot from UfM and Antoine Lafitte from Plan Bleu, whose guidance ensured productive discussions and valuable insights. The event was then closed by MedECC coordinator Wolfgang Cramer.

The Plenary concluded by adopting the “Conclusion and Recommendations”, including the consensus that no factual inaccuracies or errors were identified in the SPM, and urging the participating stakeholders to take concrete steps to foster positive responses to the issues raised in the SPM in their environmental and sectoral policies, and to reinforce dialogue and create platforms for open discussions and awareness-raising to ensure better understanding and implementation of the issues highlighted in the SPM.

About the Report

The MedECC Special Report on “Interlinking climate change with water – energy – food – ecosystems (WEFE) nexus in the Mediterranean Basin” responds to the MedECC Steering Committee‘s decision to produce three Special Reports (2021-2024) focusing on specific issues identified after the publication of the First Mediterranean Assessment Report (MAR1, November 2020), while considering suggestions from government representatives and stakeholders. This Special Report aims to identify and assess the impact of environmental and climate change on the WEFE nexus in the Mediterranean Basin, related risks, adaptation options and solutions across five chapters. It comprises the Summary for Policymakers (SPM) composed of headline statements and a high-level summary and narrative of the primary findings from the comprehensive scientific report.

The Special Report was collaboratively prepared by 60 experts and scientists, from 15 countries, selected and approved by the MedECC Steering Committee, based on their expertise, country, and gender balance. These authors contribute on a voluntary basis without any economic compensation. The outline was developed during a Scoping Meeting where experts and scientists were consulted alongside governmental representatives and stakeholders. The framework and outline were finally reviewed and approved by the MedECC Steering Committee. 

An internal draft (Zero Order Draft – ZOD) underwent internal review in March and April 2023 resulting in 479 comments from 15 reviewers. The First Order Draft, which integrated review comments, underwent external peer-review from July to September 2023. At the same time, the draft SPM underwent broad consultation with governments, decision-makers, and stakeholders. As a result of this external review and consultation process, the longer report received 820 comments, while the SPM received 247 comments. Authors addressed all received comments to refine the final draft between October 2023 and March 2024. 

We extend our gratitude to all participants, including policymakers, stakeholders, and experts, for their invaluable contributions in shaping the final version of the SPM, ensuring its relevance and applicability to decision-makers across the region.

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