Online public debate: Environmental engagement in the Mediterranean: is civil society lagging behind?08.02.2021

Following the success of its first online public debate on “Can citizens shape a free and united Mediterranean?”, which gathered among the audience 160 participants on Zoom and more than 1,2K viewers on Facebook live, Med Dialogue for Rights and Equality programme is organizing its 2nd session on January 29th, 2021 at 5.00 pm (CET).

“Environmental engagement in the Mediterranean: is civil society lagging behind?” will be the topic of this second debate which represents the second of a series of six online public debates on civil society’s challenges in the region. This session will gather Mediterranean prominent figures working in the environment field: Mr. Pedro Arrojo Agudo, Goldman Environmental Prize Winner and UN Special rapporteur on the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation, Mr. Samir Meddeb, founder of the Tunisian association “Racines et Développement Durable”, Ms Ghada Ahmadein, Technical coordinator of the “Arab Network for Environment and Development”, and Mr. Peter Schwartzstein, environmental journalist. Two debaters, Ms. Yana Abu Taleb, Director of “EcoPeace Middle East”, Jordan and Ms. Nada Halawi, Med Dialogue young leader from “Ras el Metn Youth” association, Lebanon, will as well animate the exchange with questions and remarks.

This public debate will aim at tackling the depth of old and new environmental challenges faced by the Mediterranean region as well as regional strategies to adopt in order to overcome them. Therefore, it will be an opportunity to explore civil society activists’ role and potential in promoting cultural and green mindsets in their own communities and beyond borders. This online event provides civil society practitioners and journalists a free space to learn more as well as to frankly exchange with the speakers about these challenges and other relevant questions for building a better environmental engagement in both shores.

It is recalled that this series of online debates is held within the framework of the Med Dialogue’s research on “Mediterranean CSO networks active at the regional level”, whose findings will be published in February 2021, and which identified over 150 Mediterranean civil society networks and entities, working in the region on different topics (migration, human rights, cultural understanding, environment, etc.). The debates’ topics are the following:

  • 1st Public debate on “A Mediterranean common vision” (January 13, 2021)
  • 2nd Public debate on “Environmental engagement in the Mediterranean” (January 29, 2021)
  • 3rd Public debate on “Civil society in action: lessons from the Mapping survey” (February, 2021)
  • 4th Public debate on “CSO mission, democracy and accountability” (March, 2021)
  • 5th Public debate on “Successes and failures of regional advocacy action” (April, 2021)
  • 6th Public debate on “Achieving sustainability in civil society work” (April, 2021)

“Crippled by inattention and insufficient cash, the environment has traditionally been the poor relation of Mediterranean civil society – as the findings of our Mapping research highlight. But as climate change and pollution cut an increasingly grim swathe across the region, that’s starting to change. Around the sea, environmental groups are enjoying newfound popularity and facing new and old challenges. CSOs definitely have a number of common threads across the regional environmental scene that bind them. What to do to strengthen environmental engagement beyond borders and make green civil society’s work more effective is the key-question on the table in this debate.”– notes Gianluca Solera, Team Leader of Med Dialogue for Rights and Equality Programme.

Practical information:

The debate will last 90 minutes, and would be held in English, with Arabic and French translation for the registered organizations/ persons. The debate will be hosted on Zoom and also broadcasted live on Facebook.

Only registered participants before January 28, 2021, at 12.00 pm (CET) will have access to Zoom platform and take advantage of the translation service provided, except for media actors who will have an unlimited access. Meanwhile, the rest of the participants may follow the debate on Facebook live and interact directly with speakers by writing comments and questions.

Registration form for participants

Med Dialogue for Rights and Equality is a 3-year (2019-2022) EU-funded technical assistance regional programme with the overall objective to strengthen the role of CSOs active at the regional scale, in building sustainable development, regional cohesion and social resilience, as well as influencing policy-making in the South end Neighborhood and the Euro-Mediterranean region.For more information, please contact, Med Dialogue for Rights and Equality team leader.


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