“Our beloved Mediterranean Sea is under deadly threats.” Jérémie Fosse, president of eco-union & director of Global Eco Forum
“Our sea is sick.” Frederic Ximeno, Commissioner of Ecology at Barcelona City Council
“Today economy does not address the challenges of our planet.” Marta Subirà, Secretary of Sustainability at the Government of Catalonia
These quotes sum up the challenges which not only the Mediterranean region but the entire world is currently facing. The Mediterranean Sea, as Jérémie Fosse (eco-union) pointed out, has always been a key driver for economic development in this area. In order to keep taking advantage of such a productive asset there is an urgent need to turn the economic structure into a sustainable, circular and healthy eco-system based on the Blue, Green and Inclusive Economy.
Both, Catalonia and Barcelona make strenuous efforts to bring the region’s economic goals with existing and undeniable ecological limits in line. Catalonia, member of the Mediterranean Protected Areas Network (MedPan), has launched diverse projects regarding green infrastructure and environmental recovery such a posidonia restoration in the north coast of the region. Marta Subirà (Government of Catalonia) highlighted the good performance of the Catalan Water Agency which provides service to 97% of the population and takes care of the water quality of the coast and beach areas. In addition, the Agency is taking action to optimize the water consumption in the tourism sector.
Frederic Ximeno (Barcelona City Council) explained that the 2017 Coast Strategic Plan will focus on the seafront and beaches and it will have an integral vision thanks to a participatory methodology. The Barcelona City Council is a member of Aliança Mar Blava, a civil society platform which advocate for a Mediterranean free from oil and gas explorations. As Frederic Ximeno stated, to act in accordance with Climate Paris Agreement, oil and gas activities in the Mediterranean must be stopped. In addition, in order to take care of the nature’s biodiversity, the Council supports the maritime corridor for cetaceans.
Both institutional representatives agreed that good governance is the key to address the current and future challenges. A well coordinated and coherent collaboration between public and private sectors is crucial to be successful.