The Blue Eco Forum organised by ENT Foundation, Seas At Risk member, together with Coastal & Marine Union and eco-union, took place end of November at the Maritime Museum of Barcelona. About 350 people attended the event and participated in plenary debates, workshops and exhibitions which counted on the presence of experts and key stakeholders from the Euro-Mediterranean political, economic and social world.
Marine litter, refugee crisis, fisheries management, governance and development of Blue Economy were several of the themes discussed at the Forum. The latter topic being one the most controversial, since several experts ensured that the momentum of the blue economy is not always linked to the preservation of marine ecosystems and long-term sustainability. Specifically, experts pointed that Spain is among the Mediterranean countries whose strategy for “green economy and long-term sustainability policy is null or obsolete”, together with Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cyprus, Egypt and Slovenia, according to the report presented at the Blue Eco Forum analysing 20 countries of the Mediterranean region.
Besides the Forum organisation, ENT Foundation was also responsible for coordinating the fishing workshop “A Sea of Challenges” where several representatives from the Catalan Government, fishermen’s, researchers and NGOs had the opportunity to discuss about the need to restore fish stocks to sustainable levels and to promote long-term management plans.
Although the conclusions of the Blue Eco Forum and the videos will not be available until a few weeks from now, one of the most repeated words in each one of the workshops organized in the Forum was the need to move towards better governance and to foster collaboration among all stakeholders. Including the need to expand citizen participation in the development process and respect for ecological limits and social equality.