UfM’s Mediterranean Working Group on Environment and Climate Change: the MED Sustainable Tourism Community at its 2^ Meeting in Barcelona 11-12/11/2018

BleuTourMed, the project featuring the MED Sustainable Tourism Community, participated to the 2^ Meeting of the Union for Mediterranean’s Working Group on Environment and Climate Change - MWGECC, in Barcelona. The meeting hosted stakeholders from many countries of the Mediterranean basin, researchers and experts in the field, NGOs and international institutions to talk about connections between climate change with tourism and rethink solutions for a more livable future.

(Rome, 5 DEC 2018) On the 12 and 13 November 2018 it was celebrated the 2^ Meeting of MWGECC, an initiative promoted by the Union for the Mediterranean, that hosted the event at its premises in Barcelona, to which the project BleuTourMed was invited to present the Med Sustainable Tourism Community.

During its second meeting, the working group explored the negative effects of climate change on the tourism sector, observing projections on the next decades. These presentations triggered a further debate, which was the main topic of the meeting, on presenting potential actions to be undertaken to arrest these negativities. The intervention of BleuTourMed -BTM-, that was framed in this discussion, happened in a specific session "Tourism and climate change" to present some projects of the community to the wider audience of stakeholders. This step represented an important moment of visibility for the projects of the community while bringing evidence-based contributions to the debate. BTM pitched ideas that could be adopted and included in a wider strategy of intervention for the entire region.

The potential of the working group meeting, by bringing together different type of experts, is its transnational dimension which allows to projects developed in local settings to be adopted in a wider scale. The event at UfM represented an occasion to showcase the numerous experiences, initiatives and projects happening in Mediterranean space, put them into dialogue around concrete issues and encouraged keep working on the sustainability toward next decades. The adoption of a regional focus reinforce the need of promoting a stronger thematic cooperation, as it facilitates the possibilities to be capitalised and transferred. A trend confirmed as well by the presence of representatives of the PANORAMED initiative in the WG meeting, which is now in a phase of collecting results and capitalizing them.

The group of experts was created in 2014 by the Declaration of the UfM Ministerial Meeting on Environment and Climate Change, a key document which recognized the climate change as a priority area of cooperation for the UfM. The WG acts as a regional platform that, in its essence, coordinates the complex system of initiatives, programmes and structures existing in the Euro-mediterranean cooperation in this field. It has the objective to create synergies while including stakeholders, the private sector and various levels of governance to foster their actions, enhance the thematic dialogue in the region and catalyse projects and initiatives.

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