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A Green Solution for Jobs and Growth in the Mediterranean Marseille, October 17th, 2012 – Green growth creates good jobs and promotes social cohesion according to a new report on Mediterranean countries which calls for mainstreaming a green agenda to enhance local economies and set the entire region on a path toward sustainable economic growth. The 2012 MED report, “Toward Green Growth in the Mediterranean Countries,” launched today in Marseille, was produced by the Center for Mediterranean Integration (CMI), the European Investment Bank (EIB), Plan Bleu, the French Development Agency (AFD), and the Forum Euro-Méditerranéen des Instituts de Sciences Economiques (Femise). “The report aims to stimulate a debate on how to maximize the benefits of green policies,” said Mats Karlsson, Director of the CMI. “It is the product of a truly consultative process involving the entire region, drawing on experts and stakeholders from countries on the Eastern, Southern and Northern rims of the Mediterranean.” The launch event gathered a number of contributors to the report, along with decision makers from both sides of the Mediterranean, and representatives from international financial institutions. Together they discussed how concerted efforts can introduce eco-friendly policies which enhance economic growth. They agreed that fending off environmental degradation can both protect and promote natural resource-based activities, such as agriculture, fisheries, and forestry while creating a sustainable tourist industry that can generate jobs and boost local economies. The importance of sharing experiences was underscored, as well as the valuable lessons to be drawn from different countries that have achieved sustainable development and long lasting growth in an environmentally vulnerable region. The Mediterranean region has experienced significant environmental degradation as a result of growing demographic and industrial pressures. This is in danger of being compounded by the long term impacts of climate change. Data and analysis show that immediate actions are necessary to prevent the deterioration of the fragile ecosystems and natural resources of the Mediterranean basin. The ongoing environmental degradation threatens the livelihoods of millions of households who rely on tourism as an important source of employment and revenue. “A green economy aims to make economic development more resource-efficient, cleaner and ultimately more resilient,” said Hugues Ravenel, Director of Plan Bleu. “Decision makers often face the challenge of balancing economic and environmental demands, but there are win-win opportunities: the report highlights sustainable fisheries management and energy efficiency as two very concrete examples that make economic sense while protecting the environment.”


The report provides examples of success stories in the region such as the World Bank-financed Integrated Coastal Zone Management project that aims to preserve the ecosystems of the Northern Mediterranean coasts of Morocco, while supporting sustainable tourism activities and creating natural resource-based farms and economic activities for local women and youth. The project aims not only to implement eco-friendly practices but also to encourage broad ownership by local communities of the sustainable management of natural resources, as a guarantee of long term economic subsistence. “Green growth means to sustain a descent, healthy and productive life for us and for our children,” said Yousef Abu-Safieh, Palestinian Minister of Environment. “We live on a land borrowed from the future generations. Making the human rights greener is the main objective we should strive for, but jobs is our main concern, with the 2012 MED Report we have some thoughts to deal with both of these issues.”

Contacts: In Rabat: Ibtissam Alaoui, + (212)-537-636-050, ialaoui@worldbank.org In Marseille: Loraine Falconetti, + (33) 04-91-99-24-55, lfalconetti@worldbank.org For more information about the CMI, please visit: http://cmimarseille.org View the report in full in: http://cmimarseille.org/greengrowth


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