The regional capacity building workshop for effective monitoring, compliance/ inspection implementation and enforcement of environmental legislation organized by MED POL was held in Athens, Greece from 25 to 27 November 2014.
Experts from 13 Mediterranean countries attended the workshop which included a training on a web-based tool set by UNEP/MAP, correlating Emission Limit Values (ELV) and Environment Quality Standard (EQS). The tool can be implemented to ten substances selected as the most representative substances in the Mediterranean countries from the National Budget Baseline analysis.
“This is a very useful tool. It is a simplified model that is easy to implement, in order to control emissions” said Olfat Hamdan, Head of the department of protection of urban environment in the Lebanese Ministry of Environment. “We will need to train more people on it”, she added. Two days of the workshop were dedicated to enhance environmental inspectorate, focusing on the implementation and enforcement of environmental law. The presentation of country reports in this regard revealed that the legal framework on compliance and enforcement is quite developed in all countries, with considerable development and examples of improved networking and collaboration between different enforcement bodies in several countries. However, financial constraints, limited human resources, need for technical assistance and capacity building remain the main challenges.
“I will try to pass the knowledge acquired in this workshop to my colleagues, however we are still faced with some challenges. Without the funds needed, we can not improve the system”, said Boris Zbona, Inspector for agriculture and environment and Chief of the Regional Unit of Nova Gorica, Slovenia.
Participants agreed on a number of potential activities to support the Contracting parties to enhance compliance and enforcement of the Protocol for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea against Pollution from Land-Based Sources and Activities of the Barcelona Convention.
“This workshop was a good opportunity for exchange among the countries. We discovered some differences in the way we carry out our inspections. We realized the need to unify methods”, said Genève Farabegoli, Environment Inspector from ISPRA, Italy.
This activity falls within the UNEPMAP Programme of Work under thematic priority on pollution reduction and control. It is also a MedPartnership activity under component 2.1 Facilitation of policy and legislation reforms for pollution reduction, facilitated by MEDPOL.