The French General secretary for the sea and the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs organized an event featuring the WestMed Initiative. The hybrid format enabled stakeholders who could not be present in Marseille to participate.
This event took place in Marseilles on 07 september 2021 in the French Pavilion at the IUCN 2021 and was attended by the Italian Presidency of the Initiative.
It provided an opportunity for most of the WestMED countries and partners and observers (e.g. UfM) to engage with a wide audience committed to biodiversity protection.
The event was opened by Mr. Denis ROBIN, French general secretary for the sea (SG Mer) and Mr. Daniele BOSIO (co-chair of the WestMed steering committee) who stressed the pivotal role of the marine biodiversity for the development of a sustainable blue economy in the Mediterranean; the underlying condition for undertaking any sea-related activity.
Mr. Olivier POIVRE D’ARVOR, French Ambassador in charge of Poles and Maritime Issues, recalled the French commitment to maritime and marine issues, echoing the words of the French President MACRON at the opening of the IUCN international congress on 03 September 2021.
The WestMED country representatives shared their testimonies on how the WestMED initiative enabled them to engage in the development of the sustainable blue economy through cooperation, best-practice sharing and project development at local and regional level.
The UfM representative highlighted the regional commitments taken during the last blue economy ministerial meeting and the joint efforts undertaken by the UfM and WestMed.
Algeria presented its newly adopted national strategy for the blue economy and its supporting programme funded by the EU. Expertise France will be in charge of implementing the programme in the next four years.
Tunisia, Italy and Malta shared their views on the need to improve skills but also the effective cooperation between clusters in the region.
Morocco underlined the major importance of tackling IUU in the area and illustrated through the example of its national action, the benefits of the WestMED initiative: the strategy in Morocco has contributed to initiate a virtual academy to help Southern countries to develop capacities for IUU reduction with the support of European Fishing Control Agency.
All these testimonies illustrated the cooperation but also the global concern of its members towards the development of a sustainable blue economy creating both value and jobs on the two shores of the Western Mediterranean Sea.
Watch this event on YouTube
Download the PowerPoint slides