From 28 to 30 March 2017, PASSAGE project partners engaged a debate on how low-carbon development can be a factor of attractiveness for maritime border regions, to attract new inhabitants, companies and tourists. The Province of Lecce (Italy) hosted this seminar, second of a series of three thematic seminars.

The seminar in Lecce was the opportunity for PASSAGE partners to share different approaches of the topic, based on various experiences across Europe. Low-carbon economic development opportunities linked with new economic models such as the circular economy have been highlighted as drivers for attractiveness of territories. Partners also discussed the key issue of developing low-carbon tourism products to reach new tourist profiles and engage their territories on the way to a successful low-carbon transition. Several partners insisted on the need for integrated territorial approaches, with complementary environmental, economic and social policies implemented in the same time.


Among the successful experiences presented during the seminar, PASSAGE project partners selected 3 exemplary practices for capitalisation:
-    The development of soft mobility modes in Dover Strait as the support for low-carbon tourism development;
-    The development of sailing in the Gulf of Finland thanks to securisation of small ports with services every 30 miles (30 MILES Interreg project);
-    The successful monitoring of the Marine Protected Area of Vlora region, in Albania, enabling to enhance carbon storage in the Strait of Otranto while reinforcing the environmental attractiveness of the region.

The presentations of these best practices are available for download in the library section of the website.

PASSAGE project partners received by the Mayor of Otranto.

During the second day of the seminar, several academics from the University of Salento and speakers from the Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change gave an overview of the progress of cross-border cooperation in the maritime border region between Italy, Albania and Greece. They highlighted the good grounds for the development of a cross-border action plan with the involvement of numerous local stakeholders, universities and civil society. Project partners were lucky to put images on these presentations thanks to field visits organised in Otranto in the afternoon, where partners discovered the strong links of this part of Italy with Greece and Albania.

The next thematic seminar of PASSAGE project will take place in Bastia (France) from 16 to 18 May, around the topic of “entrepreneurship and social innovation” in the framework of a low-carbon transition.