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"The ecological transition as an economic and social step forward", the appeal to the conference of environmental economists in Cagliari

Economic development and environmental protection can and must find a balance. This was once again confirmed by the Annual Conference of Italian Association of Environmental and Resource  Economists (IAERE), hosted in Cagliari, Sardinia, by the Department of Political and Social Sciences on 21 and 22 April. "The economy of environment is still a little-known discipline, but it becomes crucial in a historical moment like this, in which more than anything else a synthesis between the demands of nature and the tension towards development is required" explains Vania Statzu, vice- MEDSEA president and member of IAERE. 

Over half of the world's GDP derives from economic activities related to the environment: fishing, agriculture, tourism and construction, just to name a few. The need to rebuild harmony is also expressed by the European Union's 2030 Directive on Biodiversity, which opens its analysis with clear economic data. Without a healthy nature, economy is destined to stop. 

Carlo Carraro, rector Emeritus and professor at the Ca 'Foscari University of Venice, member of the IPCC and one of the leading experts on climate change in Italy, renewed in his lectio the call to interpret the ecological transition also as an economic and social step forward. The two souls of the transition cannot be separated, for the outcome would be an unsustainable failure. As shown by the latest data from the IPCC, the Earth risks seeing its average temperature rise by more than 3 degrees in a hundred years: a catastrophe for all forms of life. "We must mobilize society, including anyone we can in the process," Carraro affirmed with conviction. 

The two-day Cagliari event, which MEDSEA actively contributed to organize, was also the setting for the first MED-IAERE conference, the first public exchange and sharing event attended by the environmental economists from the North and the South of the Mediterranean, who discussed a common vision and how to support the ecological transition. The MED-IAERE event also saw a round table open to Euro-Mediterranean cooperation programs. 

MEDSEA took part in its poster-section describing two projects, "MedArtSal" and "BLUEfasma", committed to encouraging the sustainable revitalization of artisanal salt pans and the circular economy in the fishing and aquaculture sectors. “Many of the visitors were impressed by the two souls of MEDSEA”, says Vania Statzu. "While in BLUEfasma, where we were external experts of the International Marine Center of Torregrande, we carried out research, in MedArtSal we acted concretely in the implementation of a new model of recovery and relaunch of an ancient profession, in a sustainable key. An academic nature capable of delving into the concreteness of reality. Indeed, two rare characteristics in an institution that participates in European projects and has already been included in two Horizon (in addition to two ENI CBC MED, an Interreg MED and an Interreg PO Maritime Italy-France): this amazed the many who came to ask about the two projects and the MEDSEA Foundation”. 

From this point of view, the prospects born from the MED-IAERE conference are even more stimulating. The organizations that make it up have mutually committed to create a permanent appointment that can become a reference point for the economy of the environment, even outside the academy. A group capable not only of converging in projects, but of becoming a point of reference for policies regarding the future of the Euro-Mediterranean area. 

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