CAIRO - 3 December 2023: Egypt signed Sunday a letter of intent to join the Blue Partnership Agreement, during the activities of the United Nations Climate Conference COP28 held in the United Arab Emirates.
The Ministry of International Cooperation said in a press statement that the Blue Partnership Agreement enhances the benefit of financing opportunities for blue economy projects.
The Blue Mediterranean Partnership is a joint platform for countries and international financial institutions that provides technical support for preparing and formulating projects and providing grants, within the framework of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) Working Group for the Blue Economy.
Spain, Sweden and the EU contribute to the initiative, where the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) play a major role, according to the statement.
The initiative was announced during the activities of COP27 in Egypt in 2022, with the aim of establishing a Mediterranean partnership for the Mediterranean countries, to support the development of a sustainable blue economy in the countries neighboring the EU in the Mediterranean region.
Following the signing activities, Minister of International Cooperation, Rania Al-Mashat, explained that signing the letter of Intent of the Blue Mediterranean Partnership Agreement is considered one of the milestones in the close partnership of the Arab Republic of Egypt in order to promote a sustainable blue economy and take the necessary measures to address the negative impacts on the marine environment within the framework of intensive cooperation and efforts with the countries of the Mediterranean basin, to adapt to climate changes.
Al-Mashat stressed that this agreement would preserve biological diversity in the marine environment of the Mediterranean basin region, and protect it from rapid climate changes that pose a threat to the status of biodiversity in that region, especially since this agreement coincides with the growing international concern about loss of biodiversity and degradation of the marine system, threatening the economy and coastal communities.
The minister added that signing the letter of intent during COP28 comes as a continuation of the efforts made by the international community during COP27 in Egypt, where that initiative was announced. She mentioned that this is also an opportunity to confirm Egypt’s commitment to solving the problem of climate change, through the implementation of the Blue Mediterranean Partnership by developing sustainable cooperation in the blue economy in the Mediterranean region.
She continued that this partnership emphasizes the importance of multilateral cooperation through joint work between the EBRD, the EIB, and the UfM, to support the development of the blue economy in the region, through intensifying cooperation between relevant parties to stimulate a sustainable blue economy through three goals: 1) Supporting sustainable blue economy investments in partnership between the government and private sectors, 2) Improving sustainable blue economy practices in project design and implementation and 3) Creating and enhancing environments that stimulate sustainable investments through the development of strategies, policies and regulatory frameworks.
Finally, Al-Mashat stressed the strong partnership between the Arab Republic of Egypt and the various multilateral and bilateral development partners, which enhances benefit and joint work in light of the Blue Mediterranean Partnership Agreement, especially by working with the EU, the EBRD, the EIB, the AFD, the German Construction Bank, and the UfM, in addition to the participating countries represented by Jordan, Morocco, and Spain, stressing that Egypt will be keen to direct this partnership through designing projects in cooperation with partners in a way that enhances adaptation to climate change and stimulates moving from pledges to implementation.
The initiative arose based on the UfM’s vision of the necessity of launching an initiative to implement blue economy projects directed to the southern Mediterranean countries and non-EU member states, with the participation of European financing institutions, to implement the Second Ministerial letter of the UfM for the Blue Economy in June 2022.
The Blue Partnership Document includes many areas, including areas related to joint work with the Arab Republic of Egypt, namely reducing plastic waste, sustainable marine food systems, marine tourism, sustainable maritime transport, and renewable marine energy.