Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

Towards a green economy in the Mediterranean

Written by Christiane Navas on Tuesday, May 26th 2015 à 10:56 | Read 823 times

Launched in Malta in February 2014, the review of the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development (MSSD), aims to strengthen the ties between economic development and environmental conservation for the benefit of people living around the Mediterranean.

Tractor in the tunisian countryside. F. Dubessy
Tractor in the tunisian countryside. F. Dubessy
What is the best Mediterranean Strategy for sustainable development? Experts working on the review of version 1.0 of the Strategy have been considering this question since the start of 2014. The Strategy was initially adopted in 2005 by 21 Mediterranean and European Union countries, which were also contracting parties to the Barcelona Convention.

Ten years after its adoption, the MSSD, the regional response to global challenges in sustainable development and to the Millennium Development Goals, has to move forward. “This review should not bring about fundamental changes in the scope and outlook of the strategy”, explains Julien Le Tellier, Plan Bleu Programme Officer, “above all, it has to take into account the new guidance stemming from the outcome document "The future we want", adopted in 2012 at the United Nations Rio +20 conference on sustainable development. Likewise, it integrates some of the work-in-progress ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP 21, to be held in Paris in December 2015”.

Plans for a shared vision

Led by the Mediterranean Commission on Sustainable Development (MCSD) with support from the MAP (Mediterranean Action Plan) Secretariat and Plan Bleu, the MSSD review has already resulted in the adoption of a draft shared vision for a: “Prosperous and peaceful Mediterranean within which people have a good quality of life and benefit from healthy ecosystems that are conducive to sustainable development (…)”.

This preliminary draft of the revised MSSD will be considered by the Commission at its next meeting in Marrakech from 9 to 11 June 2015.

The draft strategy is structured around six cross-cutting goals, which focus on the close ties between development and the environment: ensuring sustainable development in marine and coastal areas; fostering natural resource management and food production and security through sustainable rural development; sustainable Mediterranean urban planning and management; tackling climate change; transitioning towards a green and blue economy; and implementing governance to support sustainable development.
Towards a green economy in the Mediterranean

A reference framework

Version 2.0 of the MSSD (2016-2025), much like version 1.0 (2005-2015), will not be legally binding. “It is above all a reference framework, an inclusive policy structure” specifies Julien Le Tellier.

There will however be a particular focus on support measures and indicators for monitoring compliance. We want to ensure States pay further attention to the goals of the MSSD when outlining their own national sustainable development strategies.

This aspect has received little attention in the past, which is why efforts have been made this time around to enhance participation in the review process through more consultation workshops. Version 2.0 of the MSSD is expected to be adopted in Greece in February 2016, at the 19th COP to the Barcelona Convention.

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