Barcelona, 20 October 2016. The UfM Secretariat participated in the second edition of SwitchMed Connect, an annual gathering of Mediterranean green entrepreneurs and international key stakeholders to present eco and social innovations, build synergies, and share best practices. The event took place in Barcelona on 18-20 October 2016. The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), the Regional Activity Centre for Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP / RAC) of the United Nations Environment Programme Mediterranean Action Plan (UNEP/MAP), and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) were among the main organisers of this event.
The 2016 edition of the SwitchMed Connnect brought together more than 350 Mediterranean participants to address different themes and challenges including agro-food production and consumption, tourism, safe alternatives to toxic chemicals in products, smart buildings and housing, textiles, plastics and packaging waste, waste prevention and innovative sourcing of materials.
UfM Deputy Secretary General for Environment and Water, Miguel García Herraiz, highlighted the relevance of sustainable consumption and production in the UfM agenda, in line with the two UfM Ministerial Declarations on Environment and Climate Change and on Blue Economy and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. He also presented the upcoming UfM activities in the framework of the COP22 with the aim to build on a Mediterranean agenda on climate change.
The SwitchMed Connect annual gathering is part of the EU-funded SwitchMed programme to support and connect Mediterranean green and innovative entrepreneurs. The UfM-labelled project “Med REScp POST RIO+20: Supporting the adoption of Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) and Resource Efficiency (RE) models in the Mediterranean region” is also part of this initative.
Maria Cristina Fossi, Professor of ecology and ecotoxicology at the University of Siena, and team leader of the UfM-labelled project “Plastic Busters for a Mediterranean free from litter” also participated in SwitchMed Connect to discuss about the situation of plastics material flows in the Mediterranean and the business innovations developed in order to remove them and ensure the transition towards a circular economy.