As previously announced, the set of “Regional Measures to Support the Development of Green and Circular Businesses and to Strengthen the Demand for more Sustainable Products” was adopted by the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention (i.e. the 22 countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea) through Decision IG 25/18 on December 2021, during COP22 in Antalya.
The Regional Measures have now been turned into a publication and made available in the SwitchMed website for anyone who needs to consult them.
This Decision has been prepared following the request of the Barcelona Convention Contracting Parties set out in COP21 Decision IG. 24/13 and all the preparatory work was conducted by SCP/RAC within the SwitchMed programme.
This set of regional measures will contribute to a number of strategic objectives of the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development (MSSD) and the Regional Action Plan on Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) in the Mediterranean, as well as UNEA-4 resolution nº1 on “Innovative pathways to achieve sustainable consumption and production” and nº4 on “Addressing environmental challenges through sustainable business practices” and UNEA-5.2 resolution on “enhancing circular economy as a contribution to achieving sustainable consumption and production” (UNEP/EA.5/L.17).
Regarding the background of this document, the technical work needed for the preparation of such a set of measures included an in-depth analysis of the situation for green and circular businesses at the national and sub-regional levels. The analysis led to the drafting of policy recommendations that were finally grouped under 12 regional measures, reviewed by nominated national experts and Contracting parties. All the preliminary work and specific information for each country and sub-region are available on the SwitchMed Webpage dedicated to the Regional Measures.
This set of regional measures is a timely response to urgent call for a “green renaissance” and to build back better as expressed by the UNEP COVID-19 response strategy.
SwitchMed is committed to move from words to action and is already implementing some of the measures presented in the document. An example of an activity contributing to Measure B1: “Mediterranean Network of Networks of Business Support Organizations (BSOs)”) is the creation the ACT Network of BSOs. Deeply aware of the role that sustainable finance plays in supporting the creation of green enterprises, SwitchMed also launched a call to action to establish REGIONAL MEASURE F1 – “the first Sustainable Finance MED Observatory”, gathering regional financial experts and impact investors around a platform for dialogue, research and promotion of common sustainable investment solutions.
SwitchMed is also working on the creation of the Switchers Policy Hub, that represents Measure P1: “Regional Policy Hub to support peer learning on policy instruments” and will help to achieve other measures in the Mediterranean region by supporting policymakers who are working towards a circular, green and blue economy in the region.
Finally, SwitchMed is organising a hybrid event and will launch a publication on Blue Economy that aims to foster the development of Circular Economy practices within selected sectors of the Blue economy in the Mediterranean, thus contributing to Measure T2: “Creating an enabling framework for sustainable and inclusive businesses within sectors of the Blue Economy”.