Plan Bleu and three Interreg MED communities are cooperating in developing “Guidelines for the sustainability of Cruises and Recreational boating in the Mediterranean region”, 23 November 2020

 

On 23rd November 2020, Plan Bleu hosted an online call for contributions meeting to inform the preparation of “Guidelines for the Sustainability of Cruises and Recreational Boating in the Mediterranean”, in partnership with the Interreg MED projects (2019-2022): Sustainable Tourism, Blue Growth, and Biodiversity Protection Community Horizontal Projects. The meeting’s objective was to capitalise on innovative knowledge and experiences addressing the main sustainability gaps of the cruising and recreational boating sectors, while further building upon the dialogue and exchanges on this topic initiated by the BlueBoatsMed project, a start-up project supported by the BlueMed CSA.

With EUR 40 billion economic impact and 6 million passengers, the cruise sector plays an important role in the economies of the Mediterranean countries. Although it owns huge potential in terms of jobs creation and business opportunities, the prevailing business model adopted by the cruise industry poses serious environmental challenges and social pressures at destination level. A growing number of stakeholders are raising their voice for an innovative and inclusive approach able to increase the sector’s environmental and social standards.

As for the recreational boating sector, it generates revenues and employment with a positive economic impact on local communities, especially in France, Spain and Italy which account for 80% of the total demand in the Mediterranean. However, several issues and common practices of the sector, in particular the segment of super yachts, keep posing serious threats to Mediterranean marine ecosystems.

The Guidelines will provide Mediterranean decision makers and stakeholders with an evidence-based sustainability roadmap to harness the opportunities of both sectors while mitigating their adverse impacts on marine and coastal ecosystems, associated biodiversity, climate, air quality and local communities. This call for contribution was answered by a wide range of stakeholders. With representatives of Port Authorities, International Organisations, Think tanks, Cruise Line and the Boating industry, these topics have drawn experts from all sides.

After a brief introduction, Plan Bleu presented the guidelines structure to set the stage of the discussion. Several participants shared their innovative tools, experiences, best practices and recommendations on the five topics below:

  • What does “sustainable cruising” mean? What sustainability challenges related to the sector should be addressed as a matter of urgency? What would you propose in order to address them?
  • What does “sustainable ports” mean? What sustainability challenges related to the sector should be addressed as a matter of urgency? What would you propose in order to address them?
  • What does “sustainable recreational” boating mean? What sustainability challenges related to the sector should be addressed as a matter of urgency? What would you propose in order to address them?
  • What does “sustainable marinas” mean? What sustainability challenges related to the sector should be addressed as a matter of urgency? What would you propose in order to address them?
  • What sustainability challenges related to marinas should be addressed as a matter of urgency? How to monitor the sustainable transition of the two sectors?

The next webinar should take place end of January 2021. We are currently in the process of setting up a Drafting Committee for the regional guidelines on sustainable cruising and recreational boating. If you would like to join us in drafting them, please contact Dr. Céline Dubreuil. cdubreuil@planbleu.org.

 

For more information :

Summary_ Regional guidelines for sustainability of cruises

PPT presentation Plan Bleu

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