The SwitchMed initiative is funded by the European Union and implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Economy Division, and MedWaves, the United Nations Environment Programme Mediterranean Action Plan (UNEP/MAP) regional activity centre for Sustainable Consumption and Production (formerly known as SCP/RAC). The initiative is carried out in close coordination with the Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement (DG NEAR).
The initiative was launched in 2013 to speed up the shift to sustainable consumption and production patterns in the Southern Mediterranean, notably through the promotion of circular economy approaches. The programme aims at achieving productive, circular and sharing economies in the Mediterranean by changing the way goods and services are consumed and produced so that human development is decoupled from environmental degradation.
Its activities benefit 8 countries in the Southern Mediterranean: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia. Through policy development, demonstration activities and networking opportunities, SwitchMed supports and connects stakeholders to scale-up eco and social innovations. The programme supports policy makers, eco-innovative small and medium sized enterprises, industries, start-ups and entrepreneurs in the Southern Mediterranean countries, which have identified job creation and natural resource protection as priority issues that also contribute to their economic stability.
The SwitchMed Initiative contributes to the achievement of several UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
SDG 8 – Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all
SDG 9 – Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
SDG 12 – Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
SDG 17 – Revitalize the global partnerships for sustainable development
The SwitchMed initiative is aligned with the New Circular Economy Action Plan adopted by the European Commission. The measures for mainstreaming sustainable products and empowering consumers and public buyers presented in the Action Plan including the focus on the sectors that use most resources and where the potential for circularity is high such as plastics, textiles, food are embedded in the design of the SwitchMed Initiative.
SwitchMed also contributes to the Regional Dialogue Platforms, including the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) Working Group on Blue Economy and the UfM Working Group on Environment and Climate Change (H2020 initiative for a Cleaner Mediterranean) that lead to the adoption of the first UfM Ministerial Declaration on Environment and Climate Change.
SCP National Action Plans (SCP-NAPs) developed
SCP Regional Action Plan and 1 Roadmap tpwards circular economy for its implementation in the Mediterranean developed
over 1.500 national stakeholders trained
demonstration pilot projects implemented in the countries
Regional and national policy frameworks
direct impacted jobs
Saving 41,7 million for the 125 industries in annual production costs
RECP measures identifies
Sustainable and circular industry
incubated green entrepreneurs
SwitchMed contributed to the creation of +200 green companies
SwitchMed contributed to the creation of +1.000 jobs
Developing sustainable and circular business models
training methodology developed
civil society initiatives incubated
Eco and social solutions impacting the local communities
potential investment raised by the green entrepreneurs
money raised by green entrepreneurs
financial actors mapped
Enable access to finance
EU marketready eco-innovations to industries in the Southern Mediterranean
participants from industries in these B2B events
Promote adoption of eco-innovative solutions
participants from 16 countries attended SwitchMed Connect
members of the Action Network
page views since the launch of the SwitchMed platform
Exchanging and connecting