Eco-Cities of the Mediterranean

 

Welcome Note from the Minister of Environment
Eco Cities of the Mediterranean Forum 2008 Welcome Note from the Minister of Environment

Since the earliest human settlements were created, clean water, fresh air, and abundant food supplies were the hallmark of livable sustainable cities, and today we demand nothing less. Cities will grow and prosper when the benefits of proximity between people and businesses far out weigh the negative cost of mitigating these impacts. Eco - Cities of the Mediterranean Forum 2008 comes at a very critical time, when we, as decision makers, must make clear decisions today that will have a huge impact on citizens of these cities in the future. By creating habitable, thriving cities and preserving our natural resources today, we will command the respect of future generations.

Great civilizations are measured by the greatness of their cities, Petra, Chiapas, Cairo and Rome are but a few magnificent examples of the human need, not only to coexist and prosper, but to understand and assimilate the environment into their urban plans. These great cities were homes to great civilizations albeit the Nabateans, Inca, Pharos and Romans, one thing is for certain none of the ancient civilizations could have earned their place in history if their urban settlements did not integrate environmental concerns into their city plans. Whatever their reasons were for urban settlement, it was the human ingenuity throughout the millennia that succeeded to bring people into close habitation without suffering the negative impacts associated with polluted air, water contamination and disease. The past great civilizations utilized state of the art means, available at the time, to create their sustainable cities; by comparison, employing the available technology today, we should be able to leap-frog ahead and achieve incredible results.

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ECO-CITIES FORUM
Oct. 11-12, 2011
Marseille, France

The Ministry of Environment of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) are pleased to announce the next Eco-Cities of the Mediterranean Forum, to be held under the framework of the Mediterranean Economic Week, in Marseille on October 11-12, 2011.

During the Eco-Cities Kick-off Conference held in Marseille on December 2010, UNIDO and the Ministry of Environment of Jordan announced the second Eco-Cities Forum. The Kick-off Conference, held from December 2-3, was a successful event that culminated in the formalization of the main thematic areas to be addressed during the 2nd Eco-Cities Forum - the two thematic areas are water and waste management.

The objective of the 2011 Forum is to bring together municipalities of the region and the private sector, as well as non-governmental organizations and intergovernmental organizations, to discuss solutions to environmental challenges, which promote both economic growth and social responsibility. The Forum will set a platform for municipalities and the private sector to exchange experiences on the most critical environmental issues being faced in the Mediterranean region and discuss business opportunities to address the issues, including environmental services and best available technologies.

Eco-Cities are areas where urban planning and environmental management tools are applied to pursue synergies in resource utilization and productivity, waste management, environmental preservation, industrial and economic development and a healthy living environment

The Forum will focus on a multi-stakeholder discussion of the main thematic areas of water and waste management; however, it will also hold, in parallel, side events such as workshops and business-to-business (BtoB), which will allow for a more in depth discussion of the topics, as well as face to face meetings amongst the participants. The Forum will also have an exhibit area where cities, sponsors and other partners can showcase their areas of expertise.

The Forum will seek the participation of a wide array of stakeholders including:

  • Mayors and City Managers;
  • Relevant Ministries of the region, e.g. Environment and Industry;
  • Private Sector - providers of environmental service and eco-technologies;
  • Non-Government Organizations (NGOs);
  • Inter-Governmental Organizations;
  • Universities

During the Kick-off Conference participants illustrated the importance of the challenges still facing municipalities of the region. Although water and waste management emerged as the key topics, other cross-cutting issues such as energy and financing were also identified. These will be incorporated into the discussions in order to assure that the Forum responds to the most urgent environmental challenges faced by the region. Several institutions and organizations have already expressed their interest and commitment to the forum and they have been invited to take an active role during the event.

 

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