A dialogue between the two seas, geographically contrasting yet closely connected by the consequences of climate change
The Milan Center for Food Law and Policy organised on the 13th and 14th of November 2018 an international forum in which, for the first time, two seas were compared and contrasted, seas which are distant in terms of geography, ecosystems, culture but are closely interconnected because both have been devastated by an unusual destiny: that of the consequences of climate change.
In the Great White North, due to the progressive melting of ice ( global warming on a two-fold scale, if compared to the rest of the planet,) a new sea of almost the same size as the Mediterranean is being formed, rich in fossil and geopolitic resources. In this way new waterways open up, new large international marine spaces, a new marine ecosystem develops and new valuable fishing territories are introduced. The New Arctic now overlooks part of the Great History, of which the Meditteranean is an age-old witness. It offers great opportunities and raises unprecedented scientific, legal and political issues. The new sea must be studied, regulated and safeguarded. So the Arctic Nations are preparing for the future, where the Great Arctic will be increasingly milder, inhabited and contended for. Climate change is also changing the Old Mediterranean: here, the consequences are mainly negative , from the point of view of extreme climatic events, for the impact on the ecosystem, for the progressive desertification of entire regions as well as due to political and economic pressure in the management of “climate migration”. The costs of global warming bleed the budget of states, while scientific communities and institutions do not yet have a joint agenda on Blue Growth. The Mediterranean, however, abounds with knowledge and know-how and has not ceased to nourish the Spirit of Ulysses. The Marine Strategy has become a focal point to the governance of the Meditteranean; research, technology and industry collaborate together on reducing the phenomenon and the sustainable exploitation of seabeds when for example new sites are discovered.
Italy, with its universities and businesses is committed, both in the Meditteranean as well as in the Arctic, to tackling plights and emergencies and to the exploration of new development opportunities offered by climate change. In the two areas there is a common interest in rights. The New Arctic knows only too well the arrogance of economic “colonization” which is threatening the identity of the indigenous people. But climate change, even in the Old Meditteranean, especially the impact it has on agriculture and fisheries, just as the growing economic and social inequalities, generate marginalization, injustice and impoverishment in entire communities. Italy is not only a foundation for a new Mediterranean economy and a crucial crossroads for Southern hemisphere countries, but its age-old presence in the Arctic world, with exploration, research and investment, allows it to be amongst the countries today most committed to defending rights, cooperation and fair development in a region that has become ever more decisive in world stability.
The Forum was sponsored by: UNESCO Italia, The National Research Council (Italy), Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (Italy), Ministry for Environment, Land and Sea Protection (Italy), Commissoner General appointed for the participation of Italy in Expo Dubai 2020, Region Liguria, The Municipality of Genoa, Chamber of Commerce, Genoa , The University of Genoa, Costa Edutainment Experience