THE « FORUM MONDIAL DE LA MER – BIZERTE »
The first two editions of this Forum, held respectively in October 2018 and September 2019, brought together nearly three thousand participants around major themes of the blue economy on a Euro-Mediterranean scale.
“What about the sea, in the world that comes after?”, This was the theme chosen for the third edition of Forum Mondial de la Mer - Bizerte which took place on the 15th July 2020. This exceptional edition, the major event of “La Saison Bleue”, was chaired by Pascal Lamy, President of the mission Healthy Ocean from the European Commission and was the opportunity to launch the Blue Club / Le Club Bleu, the first international think tank, bringing together personalities and major players in the maritime world..
And the sea, in the world that comes after?
Lessons to be learned from the crisis
The present health crisis has caused and is still causing numerous human and economic dramas. But at the same time, there is an important lesson to be learned here and our attention is drawn to :
- A completely interconnected world, which is open, interdependent and whose borders are no longer a barrier to pandemics, great climate-related damage, environmental dramas, or the erosion of biodiversity.
- A fragile and uncertain world where the youngest and the most vulnerable (the African continent for example) can be more resistant and resilient in case of a crisis rather than the great economic powers (Europe, United States, China…).
- A world in which over-production, over-exploitation, soaring population, excessive urbanization and industrialization are responsible for most of the health, social and climate disruptions.
- And finally a world in which the seas, facing the dire consequences of Covid-19, continue safeguarding 80% of the international circulation of goods and over half of the foodstuffs required to feed the whole of humankind.
A new eco-friendly commitment
Being confined for several weeks made 4 billion people deeply think for the first time, about the following facts:
- Measure how much our planet today is under our individual as well as collective responsibility concerning the spread and contagion of a deadly virus as well as the deterioration of soils, seas and also of the air we breathe.
- Imagine a XXIst century on a human scale which is clean, green and blue, healthy, fair, sure, inclusive and more resilient.
- Become involved in the « world that comes after » in which we should together ensure with extreme caution the sustainable development of this planet as well as the wellbeing and health of the planet’s population.
What about the sea, and Tunisia in all that?
Without the sea, 8 million Tunisian citizens, living within less than 50 kilometers from the coast, could neither be fed, breathe, move, nor host 8 million other visitors and tourists who allow the economy survival, provide work to hundreds of thousands of families and reflect the image around the world of an open and attractive Tunisia.
But the Tunisian coast, once the Covid-19 will pass, will once again be faced with the evils that gnaw at it: industrial and plastic pollution, incivility, rising waters and coastal erosion due to climate change, disappearance of beaches, anarchic constructions … Isn't the Mediterranean the most polluted sea in the world?
What about the sea, in the world that comes after?”, theme of the third edition of the “Forum Mondial de la Mer - Bizerte”.
Largely dependent on the resources offered by its 1,400 km of coastline (tourism, fishing and aquaculture, trade and maritime transport, etc.), Tunisia asserts itself for the third year, through La Saison Bleue, an association campaigning for a sustainable coastline, a new governance of the sea and as the center of an environmental ambition whose awareness is still weak on the African continent.
The third edition of the Forum Mondial de la Mer – Bizerte was held on July 15, 2020.
Since its creation, the ambition of this forum is to bring together, once a year, in the southern coast of the Mediterranean, the most committed personalities for a sustainable maritime development, not only from the economic, scientific, sporting, cultural world, but also from NGOs, foundations, the private sector, international organizations, local authorities or political leaders.
Due to the current health crisis, the exchanges took place this year on a videoconference mode, which is surely not a default solution and that allowed the intervention of numerous guests from around the world.
Project leaders and incubators were invited to present their initiatives.
Many themes were treated at a high level: "Rethinking and bluing capitalism", "What governance for biodiversity?", "Entrepreneurship at sea"...
On this occasion, the Blue Club / Club Bleu, the first international think tank devoted to maritime identity and bringing together two hundred personalities, was launched.
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