Circle the Med Forum is the bridge of knowledge exchange among policy makers from all the MED basin. It was held between 9-13 November 2020 virtually. Its success lies on: 940 registrations and 3900 website visitors from 57 Countries and continuous B2Bs and online debates. It was organised by Circular Clima Institute, Dynamic Vision and 5 Interreg MED Projects. It was supported by several DG’s, Ministries, UfM and many other stakeholders. President of the Forum: mr. Georges Kremlis, principal advisor of the Greek prime minister.
The Green Growth Community (GGC) as one of the organisers held its first online business forum on 10th November where SMEs & Companies explained their experience participating in the GGC projects, such as RE-LIVE WASTE, PEFMED, ARISTOIL, ESMARTCITY, EMBRACE and GREENOMED.
The aim of the Business Forum was to exchange good practices and expertise in the field of green growth and to establish relationships that could help spread the transition towards the circular economy around the Mediterranean through virtual talks and B2B meetings between participants.
The shift towards a greener and circular economy could create “24 million new jobs by 2030 if adequate policies, tools and market instruments are put in place”, highlighted Mercè Boy Roura, GGC coordinator, in her introductory speech. As Boy Roura explained, the GGC supports projects in their communication and capitalisation efforts, thus increasing their impact both at the market and policy level, and ensuring the potential transfer and the replication of their results into other territories.
In the first part of the Business Forum, moderated by the GGC partner Dynamic Vision, SMEs & companies shared how being part of GGC helped them to expand their network and to work together with other stakeholders on sustainability matters. “Until we didn’t join the GGC we thought that only big companies were investing in sustainability matters. But now we see that SMEs are also working on that”, said Ricardo Álvarez Muiña (DNV GL), partner at PEFMED.
The second part of the Business Forum focused on funding and financing opportunities and instruments in the field of green growth in the Mediterranean, moderated by the GGC partner CUEIM. Another partner from the GGC, ANIMA Network, participated in this session together with Sporos Platform sharing their expertise in the topic. Green Procurements were one of the main opportunities underlined during this second part of the forum. “The 13% of the European Union Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is related to Public Procurements. So Green Procurements are of great importance”, said Andrei Geica, Chief Policy & Impact Officer of Sporos Platform.
Besides the Business Forum, the GGC organised the session ‘Accelerating Green Growth in the greater Mediterranean Area; major barriers and great opportunities’. In this session, the Greek Minister of Rural development and Food, the Secretary General for Natural Environment & Water of the Greek Ministry of Environment & Energy, the Deputy Secretary General of UfM, and other stakeholders agreed on “the need of mainstreaming and streamlining circular economy in the whole Mediterranean basin, not forgetting the islands and rural areas”.
“The rural areas are of high importance for the Mediterranean area to implement Circular Bioeconomy”, highlighted Sergio Ponsa Salas, director of BETA Technological Center-Lead partner of the GGC.
Circle the Med Forum actively supported by GGC represents a pathway to sustainability. The event follows a new development model that decouples growth from resource constraints. It promotes new production-consumption models and business initiatives in a ‘circular way’. B2B meetings and online debates will continue till the Circle the Med Forum 2021.
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