CCDRC promotes the European Union Mission “Restoring Our Oceans and Waters by 2030”

On Monday, June 4, 2024, the city of Coimbra, Portugal, was the setting for a ground-breaking event. The CCDRC, a key player in the DEMO-PT, in collaboration with the University of Aveiro, convened key stakeholders for an event titled “Charting a Regional Course for the Mission Restore Our Ocean and Waters by 2030: Fostering Sustainable Innovations in the Centro Region, Portugal.

Event Highlights

The event began with inspiring opening addresses from distinguished guests, including Alexandra Rodrigues, Vice-President of CCDRC, and Paulo Jorge Ferreira, Rector of the University of Aveiro, who set a collaborative and enthusiastic tone for the day. The keynote speech by Elisabetta Balzi of the European Commission provided valuable insights and direction, outlining the EU Mission to restore oceans and waters.

The event featured four engaging panel discussions, each of which focused on a distinct component of the mission. The panel, moderated by Ana Lillebø, brought regional authorities, municipalities, and NGOs together to discuss how to engage citizens in initiatives to protect and restore our oceans and waters. Ana’s leadership ensured that discussions focused on bringing local coastal communities to the forefront, fostering a bilateral process of teaching and learning.

Throughout the event, the participation of key regional actors and stakeholders created a rich collaborative environment dedicated to achieving the mission’s ambitious objectives.

A-AAGORA’s Pivotal Role

A-AAGORA was a key player in the event, leading the co-development of innovative solutions aligned with the Smart Specialisation Strategy (RIS3 Centro). As part of the Horizon Europe research and innovation programme, A-AAGORA is committed to advancing sustainable practices that protect and restore ocean and water resources. Ana Lillebø, the project coordinator, moderated the fourth panel discussion, highlighting her extensive expertise.

The Importance of Regional Participation

The event saw active participation from the European Commission, which invited CCDRC, the Portuguese Environment Agency, the Intermunicipal Community of Aveiro, and the Port of Aveiro to formalize their commitment to the “Restore Our Oceans and Waters by 2030” Mission by signing the Mission Charter. This formalization underscores the alignment of regional initiatives with the Mission’s macro goals, promoting a collaborative effort to protect and restore marine and freshwater ecosystems, prevent water pollution, and foster a circular, carbon-neutral blue economy.

This event marked a significant step in uniting regional actors to contribute to the resilience, sustainability, and quality of these vital ecosystems. Through collaboration and shared expertise, the Centro Region is poised to lead efforts in restoring and protecting our precious water resources.

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