Creating green jobs: yet another way to address environmental degradation in the Mediterranean

on 18 July 2012.

The creation of green jobs to reduce sources of pollution in the Mediterranean was the focus of a Horizon 2020 regional workshop which attracted 43 professionals from 13 countries. Currently, the cost of environmental degradation for South-East Mediterranean countries has reached 3-6% of their GDP, constituting the shift towards a Green Economy pivotal, especially when considering the increased pressures from an ever growing population. The workshop, which took place on 3-5 April 2012, was organized by the Regional Activity Centre for Cleaner Production of the Mediterranean Action Plan (UNEP/MAP CP/RAC) with the support of the Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development (MIO-ECSDE) within the framework of the EU funded Horizon 2020 Capacity Building/Mediterranean Environment Programme.

The workshop managed to vividly illustrate the correlation between the creation of green jobs and the reversal of the region’s environmental degradation. As the creation of green jobs constitutes an essential pillar towards the transition to a Green Economy, the workshop showcased the untapped potential for green jobs across the entire workforce, reaching beyond the traditionally green sectors of energy efficiency, transportation, etc. Furthermore, it touched upon the main environmental and socio-economic challenges in the region, including the issue of decent work; identified the key issues in green job creation; presented best practices of green jobs development strategies and contributed towards the development of such strategies for the benefit of participating countries.

The interesting mix of participants, drawn from the public and private sectors, central government, local authorities, NGOs and stakeholders dealing with environment, development and social policies, allowed for a fruitful exchange of ideas and experiences. Moving beyond the traditional methods of lectures and presentations, trainers used ice breakers, interactive exercises and working groups to stimulate the group. Participants from Albania, Algeria, Bosnia- Herzegovina, Croatia, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Montenegro, Morocco, occupied Palestinian territory, Tunisia and Turkey attended the three-day training course, which was delivered with the support of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Green Jobs programme and the International Training Centre of the ILO (ITC-ILO).

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