MoU between the MEPIELAN Centre/Panteion University and the Mediterranean Information Centre for Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development (MIO/ECSDE) for the Implementation of the MSSD Flagship Initiative to Encourage the Accession to the Aarhus Convention, 12 October 2020
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed on October 12, 2020 between the MEPIELAN Centre/Panteion University of Athens, represented by the Director of MEPIELAN Centre Professor Evangelos Raftopoulos and the Vice Rector of International Affairs and Partnerships of the Panteion University Professor Marianna Psilla, and the Mediterranean Information Centre for Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development (MIO/ECSDE), represented by the President of the MIO/ECSDE Professor Michael Scoullos.
The MoU aims to implement the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development (MSSD) 2016-2025 Flagship Initiative 6.2.3 on Environmental Governance to Encourage the Accession to the Aarhus Convention in the Mediterranean countries. It was drafted by MEPIELAN Centre, in cooperation with MIO/ECSDE and the UNEP/MAP Barcelona Convention Secretariat.
The MoU is based on the following international context:
- A Concept Note on launching this MSSD Flagship Initiative drafted by the Circle of Mediterranean Parliamentarians for Sustainable Development (COMPSUD), MIO/ESCDE and MEPIELAN Centre, and acknowledged by the 18th Meeting of the Mediterranean Commission on Sustainable Development (Budva, Montenegro, 11-13 June 2019)
- The general Decision IG.24/3 of the 21st COP of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention (Napoli, Italy 2-5 December 2019) urging to further intensified efforts towards the full implementation of the MSSD and its Flagship Initiatives
- The Conclusion No ix of the 21st Meeting of the MCSD Steering Committee (Teleconference, 13-14 May 2020) acknowledging that MIO-ECSDE and MEPIELAN/Panteion will embark on the development of the legal and governance dimensions of the MSSD Flagship Initiative, facilitated by the UNEP/MAP Barcelona Convention Secretariat (Report, UNEP/MAP WG.479/6, para. 43 (ix)).
Under this MoU, the MEPIELAN/Panteion and MIO/ECSDE will develop a platform of cooperative activities, in cooperation with the UNEP/MAP Barcelona Convention Secretariat and the UNECE-Aarhus Convention Secretariat. This will include the organization of a capacity building in support of the Flagship Initiative 6.2.3, promoting the engagement of the Civil Society Organizations and strengthening the implementation capacity of public authorities. Moreover, the MEPIELAN Centre will undertake, in collaboration with the MIO/ECSDE and the UNEP/MAP Barcelona Convention Secretariat, a three-task project:
- the Research Component: the elaboration of a desk study for the development of a Foundation Discussion Document (FDD) for the “Mediterranean Accession Agenda to the Aarhus Convention to assist Mediterranean countries that are not Parties to the Aarhus Convention to be able to effectively accede to the Aarhus Convention; it will be coordinated by the MEPIELAN/Panteion
- the Workshop Component: the organization of an interdisciplinary expert workshop, building on the FDD to identify the priorities and implications as well as the options for the effective negotiation of the Mediterranean Accession Agenda to the Aarhus Convention for the Mediterranean countries; it will be coordinated by the MIO/ECSDE
- the Report and the Communication Component: the development of a Report based on the results of the previous two components to be submitted to the MCSD and the launching of a related communication and dissemination campaign; it will be coordinated by the UNEP/MAP Barcelona Convention Secretariat.
The MoU provides that that the Director of MEPIELAN/Panteion, Professor Evangelos Raftopoulos, and the Chairman of the MIO/ECSDE, Professor Michael Scoullos, will be responsible for the activities implemented in the framework of this MoU.
The MoU will be valid for a period of two years and it may be further extended by the mutual consent of the two Parties.