After a successful edition of the 2021 #EYESONGREEN regional competition, the European Commission Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR), EU Neighbours South, and the SwitchMed programme are teaming up again for a new edition of their environment-related campaign and competition.
This year’s competition will highlight water issues in the region and is therefore named #EYESONBLUE. It is being launched on the occasion of World Ocean Day, June 8, 2022.
The competition aims at selecting the best 3 Blue entrepreneurs whose projects focus on water or the Blue Economy in 8 countries of the Southern Mediterranean region: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine*, and Tunisia. #EYESONBLUE is a unique opportunity to showcase innovative projects and Entrepreneurs of the water sector, including Blue Economy, to highlight the urgency of dealing with water-related challenges and encourage citizens of the region to find innovative solutions that deal with the issue.
In addition to including participants from SwitchMed and other EU-funded projects and programmes, this year’s contest will also include an OPEN CALL to all organisations, start-ups and projects tackling water issues in the above-mentioned countries, and that have a proven record of accomplishments for more than 2 years in any of the below sectors:
– Blue Economy – activities related to the sustainable use of ocean resources, solutions to the pollution of oceans, seas, and coastal areas
– Water scarcity and water demand management – solutions addressing water scarcity and aiming to secure access to water for all.
– WASH, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene – solutions addressing water pollution and securing safe water and good hygiene for citizens
WHAT ARE THE PRIZES?
The prizes for the three winners will consist of:
– First prize: A cash prize of 2,000 euro and 2,000 euro voucher to spend on services or trainings for the business.
– Second Prize: Cash prize of 1,750 euro and 1,750 euro voucher to spend on services or trainings for the business.
– Third Prize: Cash prize of 1,000 euro and 1.000 euro voucher to spend on services or trainings for the business.
Winners will also have access to TheSwitchers.org platform. MedWaves will ensure follow-up of the technical assistance with the winners for a more efficient implementation of the vouchers.
TIMELINE OF THE #EYESONBLUE COMPETITION:
– 8 June: Applications opened
– 30 June: Applications closed
– July: Evaluation by the Jury
– 31 July: 10 best projects are selected by the Jury
– End of August – Mid-September: Popular voting through EU Neighbours South social media pages
– September-October (TBD): Awards ceremony
#EYESONBLUE gives voice to innovative change-makers and encourages them to showcase sustainable business models tackling water-related problems and threats to the marine environment.
SURF THE BLUE WAVE: APPLY BEFORE JUNE 30 HERE
The Mediterranean basin is often perceived as an ideal place in terms of climate, comfort, and culture. Year-round, millions of visitors worldwide flock to enjoy the mild climate, wine and food, and stunning scenery. However, climate change may harshen the Mediterranean climate and disrupt vital industries such as tourism and agriculture. The average temperature in the Mediterranean basin has increased 1.4 degrees Celsius since the late 19th century, compared with the global average of 1.1 degrees — and without targeted decarbonisation, temperatures are projected to increase by an additional 1.5 degrees by 2050. [i]
Rising temperatures are expected to raise hydrological variability, increasing the risk of drought, water stress, wildfires, pollution and floods…
Environmental issues have many components but the urgency to tackle water issues and switch to a circular Blue economy is more crucial than ever. This comes at the kick-off of the dry season when more awareness, behavioral change, and a new thinking model are needed the most.
Apply before June 30 HERE
* This designation shall not be construed as recognition of a State of Palestine and is without prejudice to the individual positions of the Member States on this issue.
 Sustainable Blue Economy business (SBE) includes all those sectors in the Blue Economy (BE) over which the Circular Economy principles are extended. Therefore, the Sustainable Blue Economic includes all the economic activities that use the sea and/or inland waters (rivers and lakes), directly or indirectly. It covers activities that are located in the sea and inland waters areas and others located in coastal areas or in remote areas of the coast if related to the sea or inland waters. The SBE implies the existence of sustainable businesses providing commercial solutions which create ecological value and/or safeguard the environment (addressing environmental challenges and/or reducing environmental impacts) and are economically viable and socially empowering. It also implies long-term social and economic benefits while protecting and restoring the diversity, productivity and resilience of aquatic and coastal ecosystems.
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