Press release: Common Maritime Agenda for the Black Sea - 2020 REGIONAL STAKEHOLDER CONFERENCE
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Common Maritime Agenda for the Black Sea
2020 REGIONAL STAKEHOLDER CONFERENCE
Thursday 10 December 2020 (10:00 - 13:15 EET)
Paving the way to resilient and sustainable blue economy flagship projects
30 November 2020
- First regional event organised since the Bucharest Ministerial Declaration was signed in May 2019 to launch the Common Maritime Agenda for the Black Sea (CMA) as a unique regional cooperation framework on blue economy.
- Under annual coordination by Bulgaria, the aim of the event is to engage with regional stakeholders in the complex process of identifying flagship projects supporting the Common Maritime Agenda, while the current scenario necessitates the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to be considered in order to identify a recovery response that can support a resilient and sustainable development of blue economy in the region.
- During parallel sessions, concrete project ideas will be discussed for three pivotal sectors of the blue economy in the Black Sea (i) coastal and maritime tourism, (ii) maritime transport and (iii) fisheries and aquaculture. Digitalisation and circular economy (marine litter reduction) will be considered as cross cutting enablers.
The content of the parallel sessions are developed in cooperation with the SRIA Black Sea
On 10 December 2020, the Bulgarian coordination of the Common Maritime Agenda for the Black Sea is launching the annual event to engage regional stakeholders to discuss concrete ideas that can be retained to develop blue economy flagship projects in the years ahead as well as the impacts of the current pandemic.
The Common Maritime Agenda for the Black Sea (CMA) 2020 Stakeholders’ conference is the first regional appointment organised since the signature of the Bucharest Ministerial Declaration in May 2019 and the launch of the CMA implementation in February 2020, under annual coordination by Bulgaria.
The conference builds on the outcomes of the previous stakeholders’ regional event held in Istanbul in March 2019. A list of potential projects that could feed the CMA implementation is an expected outcome from the conference.
The current scenario is quite different though and obliges CMA countries to consider the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in order to identify a recovery response that can support resilient and sustainable development of blue economy sectors in the region.
Future Common Maritime Agenda flagship projects share this ambition. Accordingly, the objective of the 2020 Stakeholders’ Conference is to discuss collectively, in light of the new abovementioned scenario and the identified blue economy sectors, the outcomes of regional stakeholders’ events held in 2019 focusing on projects delineation, in order to take stock of the elements that can be retained to develop future blue economy flagship projects in the years ahead.
In this context cooperation with the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda for the Black Sea and the Black Sea CONNECT project is of paramount importance for flagship projects.
The aim of the event is also to engage regional stakeholders. They have a crucial role in the complex process of identifying flagship projects and their implementation. The event will provide them with a valuable opportunity to share their experience, exchange views and provide their concrete contribution with a regional and national perspective. The process aims to be bottom-up and collective: Common Maritime Agenda national coordinators and policy stakeholders need to work together with the blue economy actors involved - public authorities, academia, business, civil society – in order to shape the flagship projects together.
The conference is developed around three main elements: the first will address a high-level panel discussion on challenges and opportunities for a sustainable and resilient blue economy in the Black Sea in the new context of a pandemic. Following this, concrete project discussions will be held under three specific thematic sessions: coastal and maritime tourism, maritime transport, fisheries and aquaculture. These are some of the most relevant sectors for the region in terms of gross value added and employment which have suffered most as a result of COVID-19.
Digitalisation and circular economy will be included in each sector discussion. Indeed, they are essential transversal drivers to boost sustainable activities while enhancing resilience. As a final but key element, the conference will discuss the different financing opportunities.
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