The MedCoast4BG (Med Coasts for Blue Growth) project, which is promoted by the CPMR Intermediterranean Commission (IMC), has been labelled by the 43 countries of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) on the occasion of the last Senior Officials Meeting held on 11 December 2017.

The overall aim of the MedCoast4BG project is to analyse and promote the co-evolution of human activities and natural systems in Mediterranean coastal areas particularly or potentially devoted to tourism. In doing so, the project takes into consideration the overall principles of sustainable development, climate change effects, and governance tools such as Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) and Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP). In this sense, the project contributes to the Strategic Theme 2 (Joint Action 2.1) of the Bologna Charter’s Joint Action Plan.

It is a three-years umbrella project that, in practice, aims to extend the conceptual and methodological model of the already running CO-EVOLVE (Interreg MED) and its demonstration pilots to Southern & Eastern Mediterranean countries, while promoting the matchmaking of several connected actions and funding at Mediterranean level, towards the same important objective.

The first step consists in producing and updating studies and analysis reports on threats and enabling factors for the co‐evolution of human activities (tourism economy) and natural systems in coastal areas. The analysis will then be complemented by a quantitative evaluation of “tourism sustainability” in selected Pilot Areas on the basis of adequate metrics and tools (e.g. Indicators & Decision Support System).

MedCoast4BG responds directly to the priorities of the UfM and more specifically to priorities identified in the 2014 UfM Ministerial on Environment and Climate Change and in the 2015 UfM Ministerial on Blue Economy. These priorities are the use of marine spatial planning as a governance tool; mobilising efforts towards adaptation to the impacts of climate change; and referring to coastal and maritime tourism among the main traditional and emerging economic sectors for the Blue Economy in the Mediterranean Sea.

MedCoast4BG is in line with the activities of several IMC working groups and task forces, especially the Bologna Charter Coordination Board; the ‘Sustainable and Cultural tourism’, and the ‘Follow-up in the regions of UfM Blue Ecomomy agenda’ task forces.

All CO-EVOLVE’s partners are members of the consortium, that will seek to involve other entities from Mediterranean countries, and in particular from Tunisia, Montenegro and also Lebanon in the near future.

The project foresees a budget of 3.085 million euros, including approximately 2.2 million euros coming from the CO-EVOLVE project co-financed by the Interreg MED Programme and by the partners’ own resources.

In this framework, the IMC currently takes part in the preparation of a new and connected project proposal called CO-EVOLVE4BG to be submitted under the ENI CBC MED first call. The proposal is led by the Tunisia National Institute of Marine Sciences and Technologies (INSTM) and is involving several Mediterranean Regions, Universities and Foundations, as well as institutional and non-governmental partners from Lebanon. This project is completely in line with MedCoast4BG’s rationale and in case of approval will be supporting directly its implementation.

For more information on MedCoast4BG, check out the dedicated UfM’s webpage and also the project’s snapshot.