Naples, Italy, was the capital of the Mediterranean blue economy from 29 to 30 November. In 2015, the Ministers and other Heads of Delegations of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) adopted the UfM Ministerial Declaration on Blue Economy. To ensure appropriate governance structures, the UfM Forum on Blue Economy was established as a “framework of dialogue on sustainable blue economy” composed of various elements, among which the UfM Regional Stakeholder Conference on Blue Economy.
The UfM Regional Stakeholder Conference on Blue Economy took place in Naples with the following objectives: i) to provide a regional platform for discussing opportunities and challenges inherent to the promotion of blue economy; ii) to exchange views on alternative approaches and methodologies capable to boost blue economy; iii) to identify policies/strategies able to harness the potential of blue economy in promoting growth, jobs, investments and reduce poverty in a sustainable way.
This two-day international and multi-stakeholder event gathered approximately 300 participants, including governments’ representatives, regional/local authorities, business sector, universities/training and education centres, international development agencies, international organizations, and civil society organizations dealing with marine and maritime issues.
The conference, at the stunning Hotel Excelsior, was the framework to launch a digital platform, the Virtual Knowledge Center (VKC), to exchange information” to stimulate partnership and ”to development joint initiatives for the medium and long term”. In parallel with the conference it took place a high-level session with European Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, and UfM Secretary General Fathallah Sijilmassi that ended with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for fisheries in the Mediterranean.