Following up on the 13th UfM Working Group on Sustainable Blue Economy (SBE) held in Brussels on 14 March 2023 back-to-back with the First meeting of the Blue Mediterranean Partnership (BMP), UfM countries and Mediterranean SBE stakeholders and partners met on October 11 in Barcelona at UfM Secretariat premises and online in order to continue making progress on the implementation of the 2021 UfM Ministerial Declaration on SBE and on the related UfM Roadmap on SBE.
In addition to green-lighting the mid-to-long-term activities in the framework of the implementation of the Roadmap/Ministerial, the members of the Working Group discussed key ongoing and future joint initiatives, including the 2nd UfM Stakeholder Conference on Sustainable Blue Economy and updates on funding opportunities including the Blue Mediterranean Partnership (BMP) in-the-making, and in the framework of EMFAF and Interreg NEXT MED.
Recognizing the value and potential of the sectors and activities of the Sustainable Blue Economy in the Mediterranean and of the related environmental and climate-related challenges, the BMP will operate as a multi-partner and multi-donor Fund to support SBE investments in the Mediterranean, especially in non-EU UfM countries. A pledging event is expected to take place on November 27 on the occasion of the upcoming UfM Regional Forum. A dedicated event is also due to take place during COP28.
The 2nd UfM Stakeholder Conference on Sustainable Blue Economy will be hosted by Greece and is planned to take place in Athens on 19-21 February 2024. Bringing together a diverse cross-section of the rich community of stakeholders that make up the sectors and activities of the SBE in the Mediterranean, the Conference will serve as key milestone to take stock of, boost, and shape in the years to come the implementation of the Roadmap and of the 2021 UfM Ministerial on SBE.
The members of the Working Group also took the opportunity to exchange on Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) in the Mediterranean, progress on the Mission Restore our Oceans by 2030 and its Mediterranean Lighthouse, open-access marine data and ocean observation,advancements on Smart Specialisation (S3), and to exchange on best practices on deploying SBE Strategies at local level building on the case of Barcelona’s Blue Economy Strategy adopted in 2021.
The presentations of the meeting can be found here.