Towards a Blue Solidarity Economy for a Sustainable Mediterranean

Blue Eco Forum 2020

On December 1st, experts and stakeholders from different disciplines and from diverse Mediterranean countries gathered for the 2020 edition of the Blue Eco Forum.

Together they discussed the key challenges and opportunities for the Blue Solidarity Economy, a new concept merging the opportunities of the Sustainable Blue Economy with the benefits of the Social and Solidarity Economy.

The Blue Solidarity Economy a new key for Sustainability

The event aimed to identify sustainable economic growth windows of opportunity for the Mediterranean region and Catalonia, to share experience on already implemented sustainable initiatives linked to BSE, and to engage actors from both the public and private sectors in the reflection on BSE-based possibility of actions for the future of the region.  

On the first session of the forum, the Blue Solidarity Economy concept and its challenges were defined and its importance for the future development of the Mediterranean region was stressed. Participants emphasized the necessity of international convergence and cooperation in the shaping of sustainable initiatives, and the urgency to act, as the last and unique generation with the opportunity to ‘save the planet.’

Blue Solidarity Economy in Action

During three different sessions, the BSE concept was analysed from various perspectives focusing on three key aspects: the current covid-19 crisis, the already existing initiatives and Toursim, a leading economic sector in the Mediterranean. 

The Blue Solidarity Economy in (post) covid-19 world

On this session, the BSE concept was approached through the lens of the current sanitary crisis. The Covid crisis was identified as a challenge as well as an opportunity for BSE, especially in the context of the delivering of the Agenda 2030 through Sustainable Recovery, Resilience and Reconstruction Plans. Accents were put on citizens’ quality of life and on social solidarity as pillars for sustainable reconstruction. The crisis was also depicted as an opportunity for better local participation and the necessity of awareness raising at the local scale was reaffirmed.

Pitch from Entrepreneurs

The third session of the workshop focused on experience sharing on good practices and initiatives already implemented in Catalonia, and the Mediterranean region. The Importance of cross-sectional approach, working with local partners and communities, involving civil society especially the young generation and contributing to women empowerment, emerged as cornerstones of BSE.

Blue Solidarity Tourism in the Mediterranean

The Fourth session focused on the tourism sector in relation to BSE, in the Mediterranean region. A paradigm shift is slowly operating (and still needs to be fostered), from mass tourism to blue/green tourism. The COVID-19 crisis was once again underlined as a window for sustainable tourism. Although some major remaining challenges must be overcome through education and stakeholder’s coordination, participants stressed the growing demand for better and more sustainable tourism. To meet the challenges of BSE, tourism must nowadays focus on humans and the territory, through the key concepts of equity and resilience.

Next Steps

The final session of the forum was devoted to envisioning next environmental, economic, and social steps to foster and ensure BSE in the Mediterranean basin. It was stressed that in these times of strong uncertainty and continuous change, stakeholders need to move from rhetoric to action, working together to ensure an inclusive, green and people-based economy and society. Proper action is indeed needed and all stakeholders public and private, local and regional need to be involved. 

For more information on the Blue Solidarity Economy Catalonia, Europe and the Mediterranean you can find a report on its opportunities, here.

The Blue Eco Community

Following the BEF 2020 conclusions the Blue Eco Community was developed aiming to be a Community of Supporters, Partners and Friends as well as raise fundings to support eco-union activities related to the mainstreaming of Green and Blue economy in the Mediterrannean region. The Blue Eco Community is a Community of Change-Makers actively contributing to the much-needed socio-ecological transformation in the Mediterrannean.

We would like to invite you to join! You will be supporting our Research, Awareness and Advocacy activities to mainstream green and blue economy in the Mediterrannean, helping us to reach out relevant Opinion Leaders, Policy-shapers and Decision-makers.

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