The 143rd meeting of the CIHEAM Governing Board was held in Madrid (Spain) at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, on 4 and 5 July 2019. This meeting was marked by the presence of Mr Luis Planas, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Mrs María Dolores Ocaña Madrid, Under-Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and Mr Juan Sainz Herrero, Director General Deputy of Bilateral Economic Relations and Economic Diplomacy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
During his speech, Luis Planas highlighted the importance of the CIHEAM in the sustainable development of the agricultural sectors, fisheries and food systems, which contribute to the growth and social cohesion of the Mediterranean countries. The Minister also emphasized the role of the CIHEAM in the access of young people to the labour market, particularly in rural areas and coastal communities.
As the Minister said, the Mediterranean region has particular social and geographical characteristics that make it more vulnerable to the effects of climate change. In order to meet the challenges of the Mediterranean Basin such as food security, employment and youth migration, actors like the CIHEAM play a strategic role.
The Minister will make sure to strengthen the international visibilitiy of the CIHEAM to help enhance cooperation projects, notably through training and capacity-building activities for rural populations in the Mediterranean region.
He welcomed the theme of the next ministerial meeting of the CIHEAM's Member States, which will be held in Tunis. This meeting will focus on young people and women in rural and agricultural areas. These are strategic themes of the current government policy, as well as the sustainable management of water in agriculture, digitalization and new technologies.
In this regard, he encouraged CIHEAM to support digital and technological solutions that improve the living conditions in the villages and can help slow the depopulation dynamics, particularly through the attractive job opportunities they can offer young people.