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SwitchMed supports the Green Economy in Algeria at its Synergy workshop

The SwitchMed Synergy Workshop is the first event of its kind and of this sizeto focus on strengthening the green economy in Algeria. In fact, 150 stakeholders, including entrepreneurs, civil society initiatives, the public sector, the financial sector, as well as support organisations, made the synergy workshop a complete success. They expresseda strong commitment and active participation by developing a set of key recommendations contributing to the development of a green economy.
Published on Feb 07, 2018

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This workshop was organised jointly by the Ministry of the Environment and the Regional Centre for Clean Production and Consumption (SCP/RAC), in collaboration with the HDN Algeria cabinet, on 12 December at LAMARAZ ARTS Hotel in Algiers, with the presiding of the Minister of the Environment and Renewable Energies and the Head of the EU Delegation in Algeria. Given the current regional economic crisis, such an event was very well received,undoubtedlybecause it supports a strategic direction different from and more sustainable than the conventional economy: that of a circular economy.

The event brought together around 150 key stakeholders working to promote green entrepreneurship, social eco-innovation and the transition to sustainable production and consumption patterns in Algeria. This included the CNTPP, the Ministry of Agriculture, the National Waste Agency, ANVREDET, the Belgian Development Agency, academics, associations such as Jannatou El Arif, TORBA, le flambeau vertl’association nationale femme et développement rural, funding agencies such as the National Agency for Micro-Credit Management in Algeria,SOFINANCE, green entrepreneurs such as Ferrah Cactus, Atelier le printemps, support organisations such as GIZ,innopreneurs, IUCN-Med and many others.

The participants were all highly involved in the process of identifying challenges and synergies between the different players of the green economy and in developing recommendations to stimulate the market for sustainable products and services and investment ingreen entrepreneurship projects.

A white paper to develop green professions!

In his address, Mr. Giorgio Mosangini, Head of Green Entrepreneurship and Civil Society of the Regional Activity Centre for Sustainable Production and Consumption (SCP/RAC), thanked the efforts of the Ministry of the Environment, the focal point in Algeria for activities related to green entrepreneurship and civil society initiatives.Mr. Mosangini also thanked the European Union which funds the SwichMed programme and,therefore, supports all key players of sustainable production and consumption in the country and the entire Mediterranean.

"This is a pilot project that responds to the priorities of the Ministry of the Environment as part of the development of the green economy, among the different activities developed with the SwitchMed programme," stated Giorgio Mosangini.

In fact, a series of training and support actions were made available to green entrepreneurs, and civil society initiatives were also supported by the same programme. In the same context, he stressed that a national white paper is to be published to highlight the recommendations expressed by the stakeholders during the event and which will also include the conclusions of the in-depth interviews held with the stakeholders before the workshop.

More than $2 billion to protect the environment

As for the efforts made at the national level, the Minister of the Environment and Renewable Energies, Mrs. Fatma Zohra Zerouati, who inaugurated the workshop,referred to the commitment and the particular interest of the public authorities in sustainable development, the green economy and young entrepreneurs which has resulted in the implementation of a set of actions through 1,200 projects that have required the state mobilisation of more than $2 billion since 2000. "This commitment was agreed upon by the introduction of two constitutional provisions relating to the rights of citizens to a healthy living environment and the protection of natural resources for future generations," said Minister of the Environment and Energy at the meeting. The minister added that this programmeaddresses the transition towards sustainable production and consumption through the promotion of social and ecological innovations, by bringing together players indiversification for the benefit of entrepreneurs.



Some of the working groups in full reflection

Working groups of key players

After a series of presentations, the sharing of green entrepreneurship experiences, eco-innovation initiatives and a global view on the Green Entrepreneurship Ecosystem and Social Eco-innovation in Algeria, the participants formed five groups to work on two themes and to come up with recommendations to be submitted in the form of advocacy. The Working Groups first focused on the challenges faced by green entrepreneurs and social eco-innovation initiatives. The topics discussed were the legal framework, and particularly the law on environmental protection, the difficulties encountered when launching green projects, such as funding and the lack of information on the potential of the field, among many others.



 Recommandations annoucement of some working groups

Then the working groups discussed the potential links and synergies between the different actors before developing notes on public support and funding opportunities for green entrepreneurs and eco-innovation initiatives. The moderators then asked the participants to propose a certain number of recommendations for the priority actions to be taken into account in order to overcome these difficulties. So, at the end of this synergy workshop, each group representative presented its proposals. These included simplifying administrative procedures, launching communication actions to a broad audience in order to change consumption patterns, and a more flexible and fairer taxation for green entrepreneurs. You can find all these recommendations in the final report to be published shortly.

Finally, theSCP/RAC, SwitchMed's implementing partner for green entrepreneurship activities and civil society initiatives will prepare a national report and another regional reportthat will summarise the common trends identified during the Synergy Workshops conducted in the 8 participating countries of SwitchMed. This regional report will provide evidence of the need, identified by the countries, for sustainable support for capacity building and technical support to encourage ecological and social enterprises in the Mediterranean.