News: 15th Regional Platform on SBE

Foto: Union for the Mediterranean

Background - Summary

Following the adoption of the 2nd UfM Ministerial Declaration on Sustainable Blue Economy (SBE) in February 2021, the UfM EU and Jordan Co-Presidency, UfM countries, and the UfM Secretariat agreed to elaborate the Roadmap for the implementation of the 2021 Ministerial with a view to maximizing existing resources and collaboration and producing an overview of ongoing initiatives, programmes, projects, and promising processes and actions to be launched and scaled-up from the short to longer term, for each of the 10 Ministerial priorities. • Countries agreed to advance and collaborate on three priority areas in the immediate/short-term, supported by a cross-cutting axis on blue skills, careers, and employment, namely: i) the diversification of small ports and marinas beyond maritime transport; ii) innovation ecosystems for sustainable blue economy value chains (and introduction to the concept of Smart Specialization Strategies); iii) and MSP as an overall sectoral enabler.

A Results-based Monitoring, Reporting, and Evaluation system of the Roadmap/Ministerial was further adopted during the 12th meeting of the Working Group (October 2022, Aqaba and online), with the first Reporting exercise by the countries (summarizing main achievements and advancements at national level, by Ministerial priority) taking place during the 13th meeting of the WG in March 2022, in Brussels. The 13th WG was organized back-to-back with the first meeting of the Blue Mediterranean Partnership (BMP). An agenda item was dedicated to the BMP during the WG itself, opening the Partnership to other Med countries, who were invited to share their expressions of interest directly with the UfM Secretariat and EBRD/EIB.

In addition to discussing the lead up to the 2nd UfM Stakeholder Conference on Sustainable Blue Economy, the 14th meeting of the WG (Barcelona, October 2023) was the occasion for countries and stakeholders to endorse the mid-to-long-term activities in the framework of the implementation of the Roadmap/Ministerial, namely on: i) enhancing sustainable maritime and coastal tourism governance; ii) scaling up sustainable blue food value chains; and iii) planning MRE within multi-use The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan 2 (MU) approaches to ecosystem-based MSP.

The 2nd UfM Stakeholder Conference on Sustainable Blue Economy, hosted by Greece, successfully took place in Athens on 19-20 February 2024, bringing together more than 350 Med SBE Stakeholders to take stock of progress achieved since the adoption of the 2021 Ministerial; to discuss joint challenges and transformative tools and pathways for the Sustainable Development of the sectors and activities of the Med SBE; to feed the Roadmap and the related next steps; and to set the path towards future deliberations at political level.

Finally, building on the first UfM Blue Finance Conference on ‘Investing in a Sustainable Blue Economy in the Mediterranean’ hosted in Barcelona in 2022, the UfM, DG MARE, EBRD, EIB, AFD, a number of donor countries, and three initial Beneficiary Partners (Morocco, Egypt and Jordan) intensified efforts to establish the Blue Mediterranean Partnership (BMP). Announced during COP27 in Sharm-El-Sheikh and consolidated during COP28, under the BMP, the Partners intend to cooperate in order to unlock and mobilize public and private financing, enabling Sustainable Blue Economy investments in line with the 2021 UfM Ministerial on SBE in non-EU Mediterranean countries in particular.

Key Objectives

On 27 June, 2024, countries and stakeholders gathered in Brussels to continue to set the path towards the implementation of the 2021 UfM Ministerial Declaration on SBE, and its related Roadmap and priorities, with a focus on:

  • Medium-to-longer term planning;
  • Annual reporting by the countries;
  • Ongoing synergies with the WestMED Initiative;
  • Joint follow-up to the 2nd UfM Stakeholder Conference on SBE held in Athens on 19-20 February 2024.

The PPTs of the meeting can be found here.

News Posted on 03/07/2024