Background of the conference
In 2015, the Ministers and other Heads of Delegations of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) adopted the UfM Ministerial Declaration on Blue Economy. To ensure appropriate governance structures, the UfM Forum on Blue Economy was established as a “…framework of dialogue on sustainable blue economy…” composed of various elements, among which the UfM Regional Stakeholder Conference on Blue Economy.
The UfM Regional Stakeholder Conference on Blue Economy took place in Naples (Italy) on 29-30 November 2017. This international and multi-stakeholder event gathered approx. 300 participants, including governments’ representatives, regional/local authorities, business sector, universities/training and education centres, international development agencies, international organizations, and civil society organizations dealing with marine and maritime issues.
Aim of the conference
The conference had the following objectives: i) to provide a regional platform for discussing opportunities and challenges inherent to the promotion of blue economy; ii) to exchange views on alternative approaches and methodologies capable to boost blue economy; iii) to identify policies/strategies able to harness the potential of blue economy in promoting growth, jobs, investments and reduce poverty in a sustainable way.
The way toward these objectives was discussed in twelve workshops. Topics were for example:
Ø An integrated approach to the development of coastal communities in the region,
Ø Addressing marine litter
Ø Innovative financial schemes and technological advancements,
Ø The status of maritime spatial planning,
Ø Sustainable tourism
Ø The BLUEMED Initiative for blue growth and jobs, and
Ø Blue Entrepreneurship.
The documentation of the twelve workshops, including presentations, will be available soon.
On the second day of the conference a high level panel with Commissioner Mr. Karmenu Vella, the Secretary General of the UfM Mr. Fatallah Sijilmassi and others took place to discuss the future of Blue Economy in the Mediterranean Sea basin. The panel was closed with the signature of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Secretariat of the UfM and the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean of the FAO.
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