Three questions for Anne-France Didier, Director of Plan Bleu



PLAN BLEU - Anne-France Didier (2)OCEMO is getting a new graphic identity, and updating our materials. In order to get to know our members and partners even better, we have decided to present them one by one in the editorial of our newsletter. Today we hear from Plan Bleu, and its new Director, Anne-France Didier .

Plan Bleu: building the Mediterranean future together

What is the role of your organisation in the Mediterranean?  

 “Plan Bleu's slogan is: ‘Building the Mediterranean future together’. We provide insight on environmental and sustainable development issues in the region. Plan Bleu is a centre for observation, analysis and prospective studies, and was founded in the late 1970s by Serge Antoine, a visionary ecologist, who believed in a more sustainable future for the Mediterranean. Plan Bleu is part of the United Nations Environment Programme Mediterranean Action Plan of the (UNEP/MAP) and the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean (Barcelona Convention).”

What are your main actions?

Plan Bleu serves as a sustainable development observatory for the Mediterranean. It offers important forecasting services and has a wealth of databases and metadata on the environment, economy and society. Plan Bleu regularly publishes and disseminates reports and summaries, and develops and coordinates networks of experts in Mediterranean countries. In all these ways, Plan Bleu contributes to improving knowledge of the Mediterranean region and developing a shared sustainable development culture. Plan Bleu never works alone, but is constantly communicating with regional stakeholders, via a cross-cutting approach.

Contrary to popular perception, Plan Bleu does not focus only on subjects associated with the environment, but also on the economy and society. These themes are intrinsically linked. For example, the destruction of natural resources has real socio-economic impacts. It is important to take into account all aspects, in particular drinking water resources, biodiversity, education, the green economy, sustainable tourism, etc.”

What projects do you have in the pipeline?

The nineteenth meeting of the contracting parties to the Barcelona Convention was held in Athens in February 2016, and was a major turning point, with the adoption of the revised Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development (MSSD). A key part of Plan Bleu’s work is to build a dashboard for monitoring the implementation of this MSSD, which incorporates the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the UN in New York in 2015.

We are currently working on a huge study that aims to establish a strategic framework for sustainable tourism in the Mediterranean, including
resource management, natural areas and economic impacts.
We will be hosting a regional workshop on this on 24 and 25 May, in Marseille. We are also working with the French Development Agency (AFD) on the preservation of drinking water resources. We have also started preparing Med2050, an important prospective study to be published in 2018, which aims to forecast what the Mediterranean will look like in the future.”

Plan bleu

[1] Mrs Didier was formerly Director of the DREAL PACA environment, planning and housing department, and succeeded Hugues Ravenel as Director of Plan Bleu on 1 January 2016. Hugues Ravenel has gone on to manage the meteorological service in New Caledonia.