More than 800 people representing the Programme’s 90 projects came together to celebrate the mid-term of the Interreg Med Programme for the programming period 2014-2020. Decision and policy-makers, experts, scientists, researchers, project managers and media among others were invited to follow a series of presentations and debates reflecting upon the future of the Mediterranean in line with the programme thematic objectives.
The need to protect ecosystems and natural resources was underlined as a key component to face challenges related to a sustainable blue growth, green growth, renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable tourism, mobility and low carbon transport, creative industries and governance in the region through an integrated approach. The overall aspects of cooperation and the need for new participatory and governance formula across different economic sectors and regions were debated and put in perspective with the potentialities that the Interreg Med projects can offer as a breeding ground.
Representing the Biodiversity protection community in the Blue Economy session, Dania Abdul Malak, ETC-UMA, highlighted that “Maritime spatial planning cannot go without taking into account Environmental Policies; we need to see an ecosystem-based approach". Also present in the FabLabs session gathering ideas on synergies between programmes and initiatives and reinforcing territorial impact, Dania Abdul Malak emphasised the assisting role of horizontal projects like PANACeA in transferring the knowledge and the communities’ collected assets to other areas and to reach regional policies.
Ameer Abdulla, IUCN WCPA World Commission on Protected Areas, member of the advisory board of PANACeA, highlighted during the Climate session the relevance of preserving resilient natural ecosystems and biodiversity in the context of climate change: "You can actually use natural ecosystems to tackle climate change".
Luca Santarossa, Federparchi – Europarc Italy and lead partner in the FISHMAPBLUE2 project, presented from an ICZM perspective the challenges of an inclusive growth taking into account an “ecosystemic thinking which includes a multi-user participatory based approach”, particularly in the case of protected areas and fisheries.
Finally, on governance, a clear recommendation from the Biodiversity Protection community in #MADEinMED was that the financial instruments of the Interreg Med Governance project PANORAMED must prioritise biodiversity conservation actions increasing climate change resilience and ecosystem functions in the Mediterranean region if natural resources are to be maintained healthy and operational to support a sustainable growth.
At the “Tasting and Testing MED” exhibition area organized to represent the different programme areas, participants had the chance to network, enjoy various project showcases, learn about each other activities and objectives and interact directly with other project representatives. It was also the occasion of several side meetings where members of the community could provide updates on their project running and get more information on the schedule of the communities’ event.
All presentations during the Made in Made event are available here.
The recording of all sessions is available on the Programme’s YouTube channel.