EU-Mediterranean programme "unsustainable"

WWF warns of environmental crisis in several regions; calls for sustainability assessment

The EU's Mediterranean partnership programme (Meda) needs a comprehensive overhaul to avoid several areas in the region plunging into an "environmental crisis," environmental group WWF claimed in Brussels today.

The warning comes ahead of an EU foreign ministers meeting next week on Meda II, the main source of future funding for the partnership. WWF called for "a full sustainability assessment of the Mediterranean free trade zone and [of] all bilateral trade agreements between the EU and Mediterranean partner countries." The concerns reiterate those made by the group earlier this year (ENDS Daily 23 March).

WWF has identified nine areas within the Mediterranean partnership region where, it says, not only environmental crisis, but social and political tension, could be imminent "if economic development goes ahead without ensuring the ability of the environment to sustain such growth." Major problems include air and water pollution, deforestation, poor waste and pesticide management accumulation, it says.

Follow Up:
WWF European Policy Office, tel: +32 2 743 8800.

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