SwitchMed Synergy Workshop in Palestine: shaping together the future green economy in the country.
The Synergy Workshop organised by the Palestinian Environment Quality Authority, the Centre for Continuing Education of the Birzeit University and the Regional Activity Centre for Sustainable Consumption and Production in Palestine the 27th of June, has been a milestone towards the development of a White Paper on the promotion of Green Entrepreneurship, Grassroots Ecological and Social Innovation in that country. The event was facilitated by the Centre for Environment-Palestine, who interviewed 30 key stakeholders to collect initial insights on the sector and to define main priorities to be discussed during the workshop.
"Thanks to sustainable tourism and other green business activities, Palestinian communities uphold the importance of natural resources conservation"
H.E. Adalah Attereh, Chairwoman of the Environment Quality Authority
The participants were welcomed by the Environment Quality Authority Chairwoman, H.E. Adalah Attereh, who highlighted the efforts that the Palestinian government devoted to establishing a sustainable development national agenda, and how CSOs and Green Entrepreneurs can achieve a deeper assimilation of its policy principles and activities. Mr Alessandro Miraglia, Project Manager at SCP/RAC, explained during his welcoming speech how the programme have piloted several methodologies and tools and offered a policy pathway to those stakeholders able to catalyse its strategy in their daily endeavours. "The SwitchMed Green Entrepreneurship & Civil Society component has envisaged a scaling-up strategy from the very outset and it is now looking at transferring innovative approaches and facilities to those organizations who are currently targeting social and green economy to advocate for sustainable development at a national level", stated Mr Miraglia. For his part, Mr Marwan Tarazi, Director of the Centre for Continuing Education, introduced the B-Hub, a program designed to drive entrepreneurship, creativity, green production and practices and an enterprising mindset within the university community. He also remarked the importance of encouraging participatory and horizontal approaches: “To be able to overcome current environmental challenges we have to start working at ground level. Awareness raising and education activities shall be innovated accordingly".
The participant organizations and green entrepreneurs highlighted how promotion of green economy and social innovation are particularly relevant for Palestine, where territorial continuity and limited access to natural resources and to territorial planning are a heavy burden that challenges the country development prospects. Addressing these challenges requires a multi-lateral framework which can be better sustained through evidence linked to the potential in terms of environmental, social and economic impact the country loses every day the political situation deteriorates.
The Synergy Workshop has been animated by the Palestinian community of Switchers and proved how this is active in advocating for sustainability-oriented strategies and how it is currently contributing to enhance resilience and steadfastness of Palestinian people.
Thanks to the organization of 4 dynamic working groups (Regulatory Framework, Access to Finance, Access to Technical Assistance, and Environmental Awareness), the participants had the possibility to be connected to an increasing community of like-minded Switchers in the Region contributing to increase the critical mass around a more sustainable way to address the common goods.