10.04.2012 - UNESCO Office in Venice

Save the Date for Securing Competitiveness for the Mediterranean

©Global Footprint Network’s Mediterranean Initiative - Footprint results for 2006

25 and 26 June 2012. Join Global Footprint Network, UNESCO and the MAVA Foundation for the official launch of the Mediterranean Ecological Footprint Trends report and workshops addressing the economic implications of resource constraints in the Mediterranean region. Participants, including that of the report's collaborating organizations, will gather at the beautiful historic Palazzo Zorzi in Venice (Italy) for a rare opportunity to share their expertise and perspectives on an issue of critical importance to the region's stability and prosperity.

Government finance, planning and environment representatives, NGOs and academics who wish to better understand the link between economic and environmental crises will especially value the two-day conference.

Context The 21st century will be defined by resource constraints. Year by year, world appetite for resources continues to exceed the Earth’s ability to regenerate our natural capital. The Mediterranean’s demand exceeds availability by more than 150 percent and signs of ecological overuse (e.g., increased water scarcity, soil erosion) are already visible. If the region does not change course, this gap between supply and demand will only grow, with deleterious effects on the economy. Most decision-makers still operate their economies under the old model, when resource trends were immaterial to economic performance. Today, when world demand has caused greater scarcity and skyrocketing costs, data demonstrates that a country’s success depends on how well its government can compete for resources.

Structure  The two-day conference “Securing Competitiveness for the Mediterranean : Exploring Ecological Footprint and biocapacity trends and their implications for the Mediterranean” will begin with the official launch of the Mediterranean Ecological Footprint Trends report on June 25, followed by a close-door meeting on general Mediterranean issues convened by the MAVA Foundation. Day 2 will include plenary and breakout sessions to introduce the Ecological Footprint concept and how the tool can be used to support policy decisions. Participants will gain understanding of the necessity of updating their national policies if they are to remain competitive in the 21st century. Participants will debate and identify potential actions to promote competitiveness for the region at a number of levels, such as reform in the educational system and policy applications at the local, national, and regional level of government. A technical training on the Ecological Footprint will follow for those interested in learning more about its methodology, data and calculations. 

To confirm your participation, please send your name and affiliation to Michela de Faveri at m.de-faveri@unesco.org by 15 May 2012.

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