Periurban Agricultural Parks for climate change mitigation in the Mediterranean

Parc Agrari Baix Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain

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EUROPARC was in Palermo, Italy, at the 3rd Edition of the Mediterranean Environmental Festival “festAmbiente Mediterraneo”, organised by Legambiente – the largest environmental NGO in Italy.

Teresa Pastor, EUROPARC Project and Policy Development Manager, participated in the debate “The Mediterranean and the challenge of an agriculture able to adapt to climate change and to strengthen local communities and jobs”. Teresa talked about the important role played by the typical Mediterranean agro-forestry mosaic in biodiversity conservation and introduced the concept of Periurban Agricultural Parks, as a means of preservation of productive agriculture in metropolitan areas, where agricultural land is vanishing in favour of urbanisation.

The debate, that took  place on the 17th September, was conducted by Giuseppe Barbera, professor at the University of Palermo and the conclusions were drawn by Mimmo Fontana, coordinator of Legambiente Southern section. Other interesting keynote speakers showed perspectives from across the Mediterranean area:

– Ali Abaab from Alternatives Tunisia highlighted the important social role played by agriculture in Tunisia (10% of the active population) and showed his concern about the lack of water, a resource that is further diminishing with climate change.

– Camile Derioz, from France Nature Environnement, thinks that cooperation is needed between the North and South Mediterranean shores. Countries in the South already know how to adapt to global warming. In the North, agriculture land should be reorganised into multifunctional areas and turn into sustainable production.

– Khalifa El Ksseyer, from Assocation Eau et Energie pour Tous – Marroc, pointed to the lack of (clean) water as one of the more pressing problems, which is exacerbated by climate change. Due to lack of rain, there is a deficit in cereal crops.

Legambiente has promoted the constitution of the Environmental Alliance for the Mediterranean , an alliance between non-profit environmental organisations from Mediterranean countries. The act was closed by an interview to Antonello Cracolici, Agricultural Councellor of the Sicilian  Region.

Federparchi europarc italyOn Saturday 17th September morning, within the same Festival framework, it also took place a Meeting of  Federparchi – EUROPARC Italy, chaired by Giampero Sammuri.