Mediterranean region discusses sustainability

Set of key indicators agreed, debate centres on tourism, water use, on coastal strip

A new set of regional indicators for sustainable development has been adopted by the Mediterranean Commission for Sustainable Development (MCSD) at its annual meeting in Rome, which ended on Saturday. Deputy coordinator Arab Hoballah told ENDS Daily that that a core set of 50, readily calculable indicators had been selected, after a lengthy consideration of the relevance and practicality of more than 200 drawn from organisation such as UNEP, the European Environment Agency and the OECD. Issues relating to water and the concentration of tourism and other economic activity on the coastal strip were particularly important, he said. MCSD – a forum grouping all countries bordering on the Mediterranean and in the EU, as well as NGOs, economic associations and local authorities - also discussed the relationship between tourism and sustainable development. This included the greater use of environmental management systems such as EMAS and ISO 14001. Progress on urban waste management, free trade and the environmen t and industry and sustainable development, with particular reference to marine pollution, was also reviewed. These issues are expected to top the agenda at the organisation's next ministerial meeting in Tunis in November 2000.

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