Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

What does the future hold for the Mediterranean in 2050?

Written by Christiane Navas, NICE on Friday, March 16th 2018 à 14:47 | Read 1101 times


The new MED 2050 Foresight Study on the Environment and Development in the Mediterranean will be different from its predecessors. More participative, the Study will aim to compare various scenarios to help decision-makers in adopting action plans.

(photo : F.Dubessy)
(photo : F.Dubessy)
MED 2050, the new foresight study coordinated by the Plan Bleu as part of the MAP (Mediterranean Action Plan) is in the starting blocks, with publication due in 2022. The aim is to provide estimations and explore possible futures based on knowledge of the Mediterranean in order to assist decision-makers in their tasks.

Two foresight studies have already been published by the Plan Bleu, one in 1989, the other in 2005. So in what way will the third one be different? Of course, the environmental, socio-economic and geopolitical contexts have changed, as have the expectations generated by such a document. This is what emerges from the MED 2050 road map validated by the 21 states bordering the Mediterranean, members of the Barcelona Convention. This new approach doesn't mean starting over from scratch however; it will incorporate what has been learned in the past but intends exploring new avenues.

Filling the gaps in previous reports

"Before starting work on MED 2050, we carried out a comparative analysis of some 35 foresight studies recently made on the Mediterranean region", explains the Plan Bleu's Lina Tode. The initial observations show that the impact on the sea has not been sufficiently integrated into previous studies. Yet the Mediterranean Sea is the focus of Barcelona Convention concerns and the emergence of a "blue economy", combining use of resources and sustainable development, is one of the priorities.

The acceleration of climate change is bringing about rapid transformation, which also needs to be better taken into account. But is this not in contradiction with the target date of 2050, a fairly long way off? "Too short target dates do not allow the potential changes in the ecosystem to be factored in or the economic, energy or other transitions that climate change brings with it", observes Lina Tode. 

MED 2050 will not be a projection of a simple compilation of statistic or quantitative data either. The cultural uniqueness of each region of the Mediterranean will be better taken into consideration. Finally, the upcoming work will be led by scientists and experts, but stakeholders from civil society and decision-makers will also be given the chance to have their say and participate. "The co-construction of shared, long-term objectives and the comparison of scenarios in a vision of the future is vital to place the foresight firmly within the reality of the issues", reckons Lina Tode.

Like the SoED 2019 (the future Report on the State of the Environment and Development in the Mediterranean) MED 2050 does not want to limit itself to being a scientific exercise. The ambition is to open up avenues for the development of action plans that are more pertinent, efficient and, above all, inspire to act.

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