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CO-EVOLVE4BG, the initiative aiming for a more sustainable tourism on the Mediterranean coast holds its final conference

  • The project aimed to promote a dialogue between local and Mediterranean stakeholders in order to achieve a more sustainable coastal tourism.
  • During the project, a total of 7 factors threatening sustainable tourism were identified, including security and climate change challenges. sustainable tourism, including security and climate change challenges, among others

Valencia, 07 November 2023. – The final event of the CO-EVOLVE4BG project, an initiative co-funded by ENI CBC Med programme in which Fundación Valenciaport participated and whose main objective was to analyse and promote collaborative actions with a positive impact on the sustainable development of tourism activities in Mediterranean coastal areas, was held in Tunis in the last week of October.

CO-EVOLVE4BG has included activities such as the identification and analysis of the factors that threaten and favour sustainable tourism on the Mediterranean coast, the development of a SMART tool to help promote sustainable tourism, the development of a toolkit with key indicators, the implementation of a transfer plan, and the carrying out of pilot actions in Lebanon, Greece, Tunisia, Spain, and Italy.

The result of the first activity to classify factors that threaten or facilitate sustainable tourism, also called Threats and Enabling Factors (T&EF), was the identification and subsequent analysis in the pilot areas of a total of 7 threats, including security and safety challenges, climate change and morphological stability, and 9 strengths, including ecosystem protection, and transport and accessibility.

Another outcome of the project was the development of a Geo-Platform; a tool that fosters collaboration between agencies, providing free access to data related to those identified threats and enablers.

Moreover, a toolkit was developed for the project, with a total of 78 key indicators to assess the sustainability situation of tourism sites. As for the Transfer Plan, it aimed to strengthen the creation and fostering of long-term relationships, at national and Mediterranean level, and to raise awareness among participating professionals and experts.

The Transfer Plan was implemented through the dissemination of knowledge in 5 face-to-face conferences in the pilot areas; Alexandroupoli (Greece), Murcia (Spain), Rome (Italy), Djerba (Tunisia) and Batroun (Lebanon); the realisation of two online conferences; the publication of 4 scientific articles based on the knowledge gained during the analysis phase; and the creation of a networking system.

All these results were shared at the two-day closing event organised in Tunis by the coordinating entity, the National Institute of Marine Sciences and Technologies (INSTM).

During the first day, held on October 25th, various interventions were made by public representatives such as Abdelmeneem Belaati, Minister of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries, and Leila Cheikhawi, Minister of Environment, who highlighted the importance of adapting the country’s coastal management to the needs arising from climate change.

Vincent Ernoux, Coordinator of the Office for the Western Mediterranean of the Interreg NEXT-MED Programme, Adriana Salazar Olivan, representative of the Water, Environment and Blue Economy Division of the Union for the Mediterranean, Irene Morell Rodríguez, representative of the Joint Technical Secretariat of the ENI CBC Med Programme, and Béchir Béjaoui, General Coordinator of CO-EVOLVE4BG, also discussed scientific research collaboration between Mediterranean countries.

During the second day, the conclusions, results and achievements of each of the project partners were shared. The initiative was therefore successful in meeting its objective of establishing a dialogue on sustainable tourism development between local actors in the pilot areas and actors at Mediterranean level, providing them with a global vision of the real problems of the Mediterranean and enabling them to face the challenges of sustainable tourism.

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