Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

The Mediterranean under surveillance

Written by Christiane Navas, NICE on Thursday, March 1st 2018 à 15:02 | Read 512 times


More than being a reference document, the new State of the Environment and Development in the Mediterranean report, currently being drafted, aims to increase awareness among public authorities, private stakeholders and the general public.

Solar greenhouses in Provence (photo : F.Dubessy)
Solar greenhouses in Provence (photo : F.Dubessy)
The working groups will soon be starting work on the fourth edition of the State of the Environment and Development (SoED 2019) in the Mediterranean report. This vast project, which is scheduled to last until the end of 2019, is being managed by the Plan Bleu and the MAP (Mediterranean Action Plan) at the request of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention, the 21 countries that border the Mediterranean. "The previous report dates back to 2009. Many things have changed over the past ten years, it was important to factor these in," says Lina Tode of the Plan Bleu. 

The Millennium Development Goals, and later the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by the United Nations, have provided new impetus at the global level. On the regional scale, the revised version of the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development (2016-2025) has emphasized the need for interaction between socio-economic and environmental goals to serve an economy that is meant to be both "green and blue".

This new institutional context brings with it changes in the field. The - increasingly visible - impact of climate change is intensifying the damage to biodiversity and accentuating the fragility of water resources.  It is hindering development in regions already destabilized by geopolitical unrest and weighing on populations who no longer think twice about risking their lives to cross the Mediterranean.

Creating momentum for cooperation

More than a state of the game, the report, which will involve experts and scientists from all the states concerned, aims to provide a panoramic -and no longer compartmentalized- vision of issues related to the environment and development in the Mediterranean. As the Plan Bleu's Arnaud Comolet points out, "The objective is to focus on the interconnections between different sectors: water, agriculture, energy, food etc." The issues surrounding the links between health and environment, which will be covered in a separate chapter in the new edition, illustrate this approach. "They are inextricably linked today to air pollution, the deterioration of water quality and even issues involving food security," adds Arnaud Comolet .

The report also aims to increase awareness among the various stakeholders, whether public or private-sector, and the general public to encourage them to take action in supporting a more sustainable development. To help them in this, several priority areas will be proposed.

The final document will be submitted for approval by the Conference of the Parties to the Barcelona Convention taking place end 2019 for an expected publication date in early 2020. The report will be widely circulated. As Arnaud Comolet underlines, "It will be a reference document, but the ambition remains to also make it a tool for creating momentum for cooperation."

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