Era of change or change of era?
We are living ironic and disturbing times. Who could have imagine few years ago that the South of the Mediterranean would be living a – certainly painful – democratic opening and the emergence of a renewed civil society, while the North would be suffering a destructive economic and political recession dismantling its welfare state and once famous social cohesion?
This unplanned divergence between the raising Arabic region and failing Europe is mapping an uncertain landscape that complicates the promotion of a shared sustainable development. How to speak about environmental protection when people are just demanding jobs and basic social rights, by any means necessary?
However, another order could emerge from chaos. There is indeed a narrow window of opportunity to create a common sustainable path between the south and the north of the Mediterranean that values natural resources, economic development and social cohesion at the same level. The so-called green economy, or sometimes blue economy when applied to the unique Mediterranean ecosystem, would be again the main topic to be discussed during this Global Eco Forum 2013, an international meeting place for decision makers, opinion leaders and change agents, organized annually by the environmental association eco-union.
This sixth edition will also extend the debate on the critical topics of Green Jobs creation and Natural Resources Management as we are celebrating the year of International Water Cooperation and aim to reduce urgently the dramatic unemployment rate, in particular among the youth.
Moreover, we are also delighted to announce that we will celebrate the first edition of the Andalucía Eco Forum in Malaga end of the year, with a special focus on sustainable tourism. Together with the Green Economy Dialogue held previously in Marseille and the coming Green Finance Debate in Tunis, those interconnected events are promoting a change of era and not just an era of change.
Again, we want to remember – and thank – the critical role of our network of partners, collaborators and sponsors, which act as co-catalysts of the transition to sustainability not only in our country, but also throughout the whole Mediterranean region. With this growing ambition and expanded geographic focus, we hope to strengthen the eco forums as innovative and inspiring events for opinion leaders, decision makers and change agents towards a more prosperous, inclusive and fair Mediterranean society.
Director Global Eco Forum