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The main objective of the meso-economic program is to teach and convey concepts and analytical principles of environmental economics to Maghreb and Mashreq countries. It is the result of a collaboration between sba and Ecosys - www.ecosys.com -, which sets out to promote environmental economics as a decision tool. The program has helped strengthen the capacity of local analysts to replicate MESO studies in the industrial sectors and urban communities. Environmental considerations of countries in the MENA region have indeed led policymakers to find tools for strategic guidance in environmental policy making.
The economic and environmental analysis helps decision makers prioritize their actions to reduce the impact on the environment and improve the well being of the population, as well as economical efficiency. They facilitate the choices that must be made considering existing economic and environmental constraints, thus making it possible to take into account the environmental dimension in the planning of activities and allocation of production factors and goods at all levels: State, ministries, industry groups, production units, districts and municipalities.
The MESO methodology was developed by the late Prof. G. Pillet (1948-2007 ; Founder of Ecosys) and is one of the major results of his research in applied and environmental economics.
A MESO study is the economic assessment of the environmental degradation at an economic sector or an urban community level. It focuses on linkages between micro (unit) and macro (country) to achieve an analysis at an intermediate level "MESO" (sector). It highlights environmental products and services that address, among others, energy efficiency, climate change, water and waste management or socio-environmental conflicts.
More specifically, the entity considered through the MESO analysis is compared to a metabolism in the sense that, through its many activities, it ingests and transforms resources, produces goods emits discharges and puts pressure on ecosystems. The analysis therefor takes into account the environmental flows at the entrance of the production process (inputs) and its output (outputs).
Taking into account the complexity of the metabolism and the multiple elements with which it interacts, the consequences of the studied entity's operations are estimated in terms of Damage Costs and Inefficiencies (CDI) and Remediation Costs (CR). Determined in monetary units, these impacts become therefore directly comparable with other economic referents, such as value added (VA). Ratios representing profitability of remediation can from that point be determined.
The full methodology can be read in the following brochure: MESO Information
Two types of results can be highlighted:
Following the MESO analyzes, improved environmental performance of the studied sectors or cities could be observed. Among them, the city of Aqaba, whose trade-off between port activities and tourism reflects the challenges it faces: contrasted developing industry leads to important pressures on water, while developing tourism requires the preservation of landscapes and shores. The city was therefore able to focus its policy making on these aspects - Example : Results - City of Agaba
The MESO analysis also resulted in stakeholder awareness raising on environmental issues and knowledge transfer, particularly through the creation of:
The MESO program was a success and was positively received in the various countries of its implementation.
The legacy of the program is provided by MESO sensitized, trained and involved partners throughout the ten years of its implementation. Indeed, the methodologies are transmitted and to this day still replicated in countries covered by the program. From 2005, these results and the actions and discussions they generated have indeed motivated and necessitated the transfer of the MESO methodology to local partners. Since then, the MESO program has provided academic and regional training in environmental economics. In addition, the method is continuously evolving and still inspires studies by sba.