On the occasion of Blue Growth Community’s 2nd Annual Assembly, which took place on 12 October 2021, the Community’s members adopted a Position Paper in reaction to the European Commission's Communication “on a new approach for a sustainable blue economy in the EU - Transforming the EU's Blue Economy for a Sustainable Future”.
This communication, which was issued on 7 May 2021, is a key step in the transition towards a more sustainable approach in the development of blue economy sectors, particularly in the Mediterranean region.
The Position Paper has been drafted in a challenging context for blue economy sectors. It is intended as a BLUE GROWTH COMMUNITY contribution to ongoing reflections and proposals for a transition towards a sustainable blue economy.
Far from pretending to be exhaustive, the Paper is articulated around key messages identified by the BLUE GROWTH COMMUNITY project related to areas covered by the Communication, including circular blue economy, maritime spatial planning, research and innovation, blue investments, blue skills, maritime security, territorial cooperation, biodiversity and nature preservation, waste prevention, marine renewable energies, among others.
People of the Mediterranean shores, whose economies strongly rely on blue sectors (including coastal and maritime tourism), are strongly affected by the above areas' challenges, i.e. erosion, pollution and carbon footprint of maritime industries, natural resources management, skills and education, etc. Therefore, new measures should be applied to ensure socio-economic and environmentally sustainability, and the recovery of the sectors that were most affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
The Paper recognises that Innovative management models are needed to harness the economic opportunities offered by the Mediterranean Sea while respecting its ecosystems and maintaining and increasing their value over time with direct benefits to local communities.
This Position Paper also aims to show to what extent the Interreg MED Blue Growth Community is aligned with and can contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the Commission’s Communication in the Mediterranean area by promoting cooperation, ensuring the transfer/capitalisation of knowledge and the exchange of best practices building on its experiences and on the tools/methodologies developed by its projects. As a matter of fact, Blue Growth Community, through its projects, actually covers the following areas: blue energies, coastal and maritime tourism, integrated maritime surveillance, fishing and aquaculture, and biotechnologies.
Finally, the Paper seeks to advice on ways to implement the paths set out in the EC's Communication.
The Position Paper is available https://blue-growth.interreg-med.eu/fileadmin/user_upload/Sites/Blue_Growth/horizontal_project/BG_Phase_2/Library/WP5_Capitalising/BGC-Position-on-Sustainable-Blue-Economy_final.pdfhere.
For more information, please contact medbluegrowth@. gmail.com