The MedCities Director and project officer participated in the ENSERES project capitalization event in Tyre and had the opportunity to share the outcomes with member cities in a fruitful visit with different Lebanese representatives.

The relationship between cities and the surrounding natural environment, especially coastal and marine, is more and more a priority issue for MedCities members, especially in view of the biodiversity and climate crisis strongly affecting cities’ resilience.

ENSERES National Capitalisation celebrated in Tyre last 18 September shared with Lebanese stakeholders the preliminary results of the project in order to discuss their application to the challenges Lebanon faces in terms of protection and management of coastal biodiversity and the sustainability of their livelihoods.

The event, hosted by ENSERES partner Tyre Coast Nature Reserve and the Municipality of Tyre aimed at engaging stakeholders interested in or related to coastal and marine management and conservation in Lebanon. These included, among others, the Ministry for Environment, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), researchers, the fishing community, tourism stakeholders and representatives from 3 protected areas in Lebanon and other coastal municipalities. Council members from Saida attended the event, as well as from the municipality of Mina, which chairs the management committee for the only other MPA in the Country, the Palm Islands Reserve.

Other MedCities members as the Federation of Municipalities of Higher Chouf, Zgharta, Tripoli, Mina, Byblos and the Urban Community of Al Fayhaa were highly interested in ENSERES outcomes. MedCities Secretariat team met with the mayors of them all in order to report on the event, the project outcomes, and the opportunity to continue this path of work through MedCities working groups and the upcoming MoU to be signed with the Mediterranean MPA managers Network MedPAN. This will be in fact the subject of the upcoming seminar back to back to MedCities General Assembly on 22nd and 23th November in Sarajevo.

This was also the occasion to address other member priorities, significantly the economic and energy crisis faced by the country and the need for support to address energy transition at the municipal level. Solar systems for public buildings and street lighting are key to ensuring the proper functioning of municipal services and lively and safe cities. The upcoming Interreg NEXT MED Call could be a path to address this challenge.

The occasion was perfect to meet MedCities Vice-President and President of the Union of Dannieh Municipalities, Mr. Mohamed Saadieh and prepare for MedCities General Assembly in view of the new board mandate.

ENSERES is an ENI CBC MED project co-financed by the EU.

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