Water and Marine Resources for the Mediterranean
Youth and Innovations can contribute to transform constraints for sustainable Mediterranean development into opportunities
Rome, Italy, 30 November 2017
The CIHEAM attended the 3rd Meeting of Rome Mediterranean Dialogues and participated to PRE-MED Meeting on "Water and Marine Resources for the Mediterranean: Youth and Innovations".
The objective of the event “Mediterranean Dialogues” is to define a “positive agenda” that could give impetus to the cooperation between the two shores of the Mediterranean by triggering new ideas and rethinking traditional approaches to face regional common challenges. In line with this objective the Institute of CIHEAM Bari and MAECI/ DGCS, in partnership with AICS (Italian Agency for Development Cooperation) organized a “Pre-Med Meeting” focused on the role of youth and innovation for a growth compatible with the sustainable use of water and marine resources.
The high potential of innovation in the Mediterranean, coupled with the presence of educated youth, are strategic assets to successfully respond to the challenges linked to the prosperity generation and sustainable development of the region, in line with the objectives set out by the Agenda 2030.
The Mediterranean culture, with its history of economic, social and cultural contaminations, is a capital whose richness and diversity may be enhanced through the empowerment of young generations and the spread of a culture of innovation.
Initiatives addressing youth and innovation in water and marine resources management could actively contribute to the achievement of several SDGs (2, 6, 8, 9, 13,14, 15)
Scope of the event was the development of a common understanding with the view to promote a wide regional strategy for unlocking youth empowerment and innovation potential targeting the management of water and marine resources for peace and prosperity in the Mediterranean.
Some Facts on water in North Africa and Middle East region
- The per-capita water availability is less than 1.000m3/person/year
- 80% of renewable water resources is already exploited
- Water efficiency is still very low in the entire Mediterranean region: losses, leakages and wastage account for almost 40% of the total water demand
- Losses are mainly due to poor network maintenance and operation as well as inadequate irrigation techniques
Some facts on sea and marine resources
- The Mediterranean Sea is undergoing rapid changes in response to closely interlinked natural and anthropogenic pressures.
- Climate change influences physical dynamics and hydrological structure of the Mediterranean Sea
- Nutrient and pollutant loads are flowing from growing urbanization, land and coastal activities
- Increasing maritime traffic leads to safety concerns, potential pollution and the introduction of invasive alien species.
- Fishing stocks remain unsustainable
Some facts on Youth
- Almost 60% of the regional population of the North Africa and Middle East region is currently under the age of 30, and the number of under 15s is expected to increase by over 18% by 2020 (UfM, 2016)
- Youth unemployment is very high, touching 50% in some countries (World Bank, 2016)
- International Labour Organization has estimated that the region’s GDP could increase by USD 25 billion by 2018 if the youth unemployment rate of MENA region is reduced by half
- Last UNDP Report on human development in the Arab world (2016), focused on youth, is based on the idea that young people are a pivotal resource for the development of the region. The Report concludes that sustainable development of the Arab world is achievable also through the implementation of policies targeting youth empowerment.
The Mediterranean has to be seen as a laboratory for the achievement of SDGs through the promotion of initiatives aiming at fostering an inclusive growth and youth employment like the sustainable and responsible management of water and marine resources.
These challenges might require a re-thinking of innovation, intended as leverage of change for business models that should be able to merge profit with sustainable development, competitiveness with environmental policies, climate change with energy.
Mediterranean Dialogues 2017 : More about the PRE-MED MEETING
Download the programme
More details on CIHEAM-Bari activities on water and marine resources