Professor Fadi Comair, Director of Energy Environment and Water Research Center EEWRC at the Cyprus Institute was unanimously elected as Chair of the ECOMED Academy on the 12th of December 2022 during the Task Force First Meeting.
Furthermore, it was decided that The Cyprus Institute will be the host of the ECOMED Academy, as Cyprus is geographically and strategically located in the heart of the EMME and can act as a regional hub between the west and east sides of the Mediterranean. It is envisaged to launch the Academy during the 2nd International Conference in Cyprus on the occasion of the World Water Day in March 2023.
The ECOMED Academy was established as per the UNESCO Intergovernmental Programme of the United Nations IHP resolution XTR-IV-3 of 2021. During the UNESCO IHP Council meeting in November 2021, it was recommended to establish a Task Force to explore the feasibility of the ECOMED Academy (Environmental Coastal Cooperation for Metropolitan Eco sustainable Development).
CyI will be the host of the ECOMED Academy whereas W-SMART (International Association of Water & Wastewater Utilities for Sustainable Water Security) will be the secretariat. W-SMART is an official UNESCO partner NGO.
The ECOMED Academy’s Mission & Goals
Providing a MENA/Mediterranean regional metropolitan platform of (Environmental Coastal Cooperation for Metropolitan Eco-sustainable Development ECOMED) to support capacity building of Metropolitan Governments & Water Authorities in the member states concerned for;
- Planning, implementing and monitoring climate change adaptation management programs, coastal ecosystems pollution control and protection measures,
- Transboundary IWRM strategies and water service resilience building to face climate driven extreme events, water scarcity, natural disasters (e.g.; floods, wildfires, etc.),
- Raising public health risks, agricultural food security concerns and evaluate their economic, environmental and societal impacts on the fast growing metropolitan eco-development challenges.
The Goals are to provide a regional metropolitan platform for:
- Facilitating knowledge sharing of best practices of ecosystems protection and assets management facing extreme events;
- Promoting partnerships for research and demonstration of innovative solutions in the countries concerned;
- Engaging public education for raising a societal awareness and a preparedness culture,
- Providing professional education and training programs for managers and engineers of local governments, municipalities and water authorities to accelerate their capacity building programs for facing climate change impacts;
- Leveraging expertise and resources for planning and implementing environmental monitoring, protection measures and assets management for sustainable eco-development of the metropolitan coastal ecosystems;
- Supporting the necessary upgrading of crisis management capabilities and water service resilience to face extreme events;
- Engaging transboundary ecosystem pollution monitoring with shared regional climate impacts observatories and knowledge/databases to support planning, feasibility assessment, co-financing partnerships and implementation monitoring of ecosystems depollution and protection, transboundary IWRM strategies, pre-disposal effluent quality control, sanitation and regional eco-development projects.
There will be a series of successive ECOMED Academy Task Force online and physical meetings. The next meeting will be held at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on January 18, 2023. It is envisaged that the final organization structure and the Academy Governing Council will be agreed upon by the member states.
Source: The Cyprus Institute I News (https://bit.ly/3BOwEgG)