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Sharing Sustainable Consumption and Production expertise at WestMed Stakeholder Conference

Given its valuable experience mainstreaming Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) in the MENA region through SwitchMed, the SCP/RAC has been invited in the Stakeholders conference:"Towards an initiative for the sustainable development of the Blue Economoy in the Western Mediterranean" to discuss opportunities offered by SCP in the Western Mediterranean region
Published on Feb 13, 2017

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In the framework of Westmed Maritime Initiative the European Commission, in close cooperation with the Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean, organized the Stakeholders conference:"Towards an initiative for the sustainable development of the Blue Economoy in the Western Mediterranean" on 2 February 2017 at the premises of Union for the Mediterranean office in Barcelona

The vision of the West Med Blue Economy Initiative is to address the major environmental challenges of the sub-sea basin, transform existing economic activities into less polluting and resourceful activities, and to promote opportunities for green and blue economy

Bringing together 200 WestMed stakeholders from across the Mediterranean Region, the conference aims to promote an exchange of views among operators in the maritime sector, namely businesses, researchers, institutes, national and local authorities belonging to the Western Mediterranean Countries (Algeria, France, Italy, Libya, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Portugal, Spain and Tunisia).

2 main themes were approached: the first was related to

  • A smart and innovative western Mediterranean basin
  • A safer and more secure maritime space: increasing capacity in delivering coastguard functions
  • Sustainable Consumption and Production

the second one related to :

  • Advancing governance in the western Mediterranean basin
  • Maritime transport and ports - new technologies and skills for the maritime professions
  • An attractive western Mediterranean basin: sustainable maritime tourism

Enrique De Villamore, Director of SCPRAC, was invited to discuss opportunities offered by SCP in the western Mediterranean region, existing barriers and ways of overcoming them. 

Taking into consideration the recent experience gained through the ongoing regional SCP programmes, panelists exchanged ideas about further upscaling/advancing towards SCP/green, circular economy in many sectors including aquaculture, tourism, food and fisheries; renewable energy generation, goods manufacturing, housing and construction, waste collection and recycling.

Mr De Villamore affirmed that the transition to a green and low emissions economy is providing real opportunities for preserving natural resources, job creation, improvement of the quality of life for all and a sustainable future. Besides, Eco-innovation is helping in developing new sustainable products and services, since environmental impacts occur at all stages in the life cycles of products and materials, However, panelists discussed challenges that are still hindering the decisive shift towards sustainable consumption and production patterns.

Debates over every panel concluded in identifying a serie of needs, that will be used to complete the assessment of the feasibility and added value of a possible sea-basin based initiative for the sustainable development of the blue economy in the western Mediterranean. 

You can download the final reporting from panels here.