Inputs received from the UfM Blue economy Stakeholders Community through the on-line consultation held between the 11th and 25th of March, 2020

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Governance and future of the blue economy in the Mediterranean region: possible scenarios, opportunities and tools

  • Political will to implement sustainable policies, Rigorous scientific work (not only meetings) to articulate clear recommendations and priorities. EMUNI
  • Voluntary commitment from Member States is key to address the challenges of the Mediterranean basin altogether under the auspices of UfM. IOC-UNESCO
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Theme 1. Sustainable food from the sea: sustainable fisheries and aquaculture

  • Enhance the role of small-scale fisheries and small-scale aquaculture production with emphasis on environmental sustainability and social issues, rather than profitability & massive production (recall GFCM-RPOA). Foster the model of precautionary aquaculture. Enhance the capture of invasive species. Ambitious commitments for the region to revert the trend in the next year is needed. EMUNI
  • Regional agreement endorsed by Member States (competent authority of fisheries, aquaculture and finances) in line with Agenda 2030 SDGs and the work done by international and regional bodies in the region. IOC-UNESCO
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Theme 2. Sustainable maritime transport and ports

  • Devote much more attention to the recreational boating, especially motorised. Local pollution originating from those boats is big, but unaccounted for. Set higher environmental standards for the region in terms of safety and polluting emissions. EMUNI
  • 1) In other regional seas, the Regional Convention has been successful addressing solutions to reduce marine pollution, the cases of HELCOM and OSPAR provide good lessons learnt to define a regional strategy for the future of the Mediterranean. 2) The majority of non-European countries in the Mediterranean are far to accomplish the objectives for open access and digitalization, a first step will be to ensure national commitment to understand the importance of open data, information and transparency. Once this is done, the work at regional scale will be easier, without this first step, all efforts will be useless. 3) Regional agreement with National authorities (with competences in Education and Professional Education) to adapt national curricula attending the needs of new emerging employment needs, to define a mechanism to ensure mobility of students, professional internships in private companies located in the Mediterranean, etc. IOC-UNESCO
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Theme 3. Sustainable tourism

  • First of all, the problem of over-tourism in some places should be acknowledged (here it doesn’t seem to be) and tackled. One issues is to stop, as a policy measure, promoting “fast tourism” (2-days getaways on plane), big cruise boats landing in small ports that do not have adequate capacities. More knowledge & genuine experience-based tourism should be promoted. Business travels, when not needed, should be replaced by online meetings, rather than travelling to some touristic destinations. Big data should be used to disperse tourism pressures and channelling them to the under-used areas. Entrepreneurship should be encouraged (also via public resources) but clear sustainability impact demanded. EMUNI
  • The Mediterranean lack common policies on environmental issues but the private sector for the case of tourism is adapting much better to the needs of potential clients than National Authorities. The seasonality aspects represent a pending subject for the touristic sectors and all other sectors related to them (e.g. transport, gastronomy (agriculture, fisheries, aquaculture), energy, etc). IOC-UNESCO
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Theme 4. Marine renewable energies

  • It is much needed to test the societal acceptance of so-called clean energy and explore the resilience against it. Take society’s concerns seriously rather than just impose policies. Present transparently (with info and visuals) challenges associated with the so-called clean energy, then seek adequate solutions to expand them, in accordance with the societal views. EMUNI
  • National authorities have the final mandate and competence to provide licenses for marine renewable energy initiatives to be implemented. Projects and activities at regional level should focus in “demo” sites which might be more effective and real than theoretical research. Member States must understand the importance of marine renewable energies in the short and the long term. IOC-UNESCO
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Theme 5. Adaptation to climate change

  • Adapt to them in a least harmful way and communicate the impacts to the society and policy makers. When the impacts can be avoided low-cost, do so. Encouraging tourism (business travel, frequent travel, meetings non-stop) is part of the CC problem so avoid it. EMUNI
  • Climate change impacts cannot be addressed in the same way for affected metropolitan areas and coastal ecosystems. Rehabilitation of coastal ecosystems with the implementation of nature-based solutions could be a good start but the results will not be effective if major infrastructures (in land, river basin districts and coastal areas) continue being developed without the proper environmental impact assessment. We do not need additional research here, we need a better understanding of national authorities of their own responsibility mitigating the impacts of climate change in coasts and marine areas of the Mediterranean. IOC-UNESCO
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Theme 6. Blue skills (re-skilling and upskilling), careers and employment

  • An evidence-based study is needed for where the needs in terms of skills are. A lot of statements are based on impressions and anecdotal. Give the youth an ambitious policy goal to work towards it (a model sustainability region). Shorter trainings on topical issues that complement more substantive studies are a good tool. EMUNI
  • The private sector at local scales understand better the opportunity to interact with other sectors than at the larger scales. Diversification of traditional maritime sectors could be a start. The development of marine protected areas, the declaration of historical sites to promote the common culture in the Mediterranean could be useful. Mobility programs for local leaders and stakeholders to share experiences and lessons learnt amongst maritime private sectors have shown its utility in other parts of the world. Having National Authorities on board and providing full support to these initiatives and incentive the development of new ones at local scale is the best recipe, replication of good practices. The majority of these initiatives do not require major financial investments. IOC-UNESCO
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Theme 7. Marine Litter

  • Stop pollution from all rivers. Make and popularise a study about the scope of the issue in the Med. In the second step, demand higher environmental standards for discharges. Monitor and quantify the BLuemed Plastic Pilot. EMUNI
  • Regional cooperation, public and private stakeholders’ exchanges, interactions and mobility, food security and sustainability, including respectful working conditions, health and legal certainty are key. IOC-UNESCO
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Theme 8. Maritime Security and Surveillance

  • Enhance safety, surveillance and defend the rule of law, while defending a humanitarian approach. The rule of law must be upheld and strengthened in the region. EMUNI
  • Regional coordination and a clear commitment of National Authorities to implement and to actively participate in all type of agreements, actions, joint trainings, exchanges, etc.  Collaboration amongst National navies, National Coast Guards and FRONTEX. Sharing key data and information on real time to create the best context to collaborate to fight against pollution, illegal immigration, piracy, smuggling, etc. IOC-UNESCO
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