Building on the success of the first #EYESONGREEN edition (2021), this year’s EU Neighbours South environmental campaign , #EYESONBLUE, kicked off on World Ocean day (08-06-2022) in partnership with DGNear and SwitchMed (MedWaves). As clearly reflected by its name, the 2022 campaign focused on water related issues and challenges in the Southern Neighbourhood.
The main component of the campaign included a contest that aimed at selecting the best 3 Blue entrepreneurs whose projects tackle water or the Blue Economy in 8 countries of the Southern Mediterranean region: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, and Tunisia. The contest aimed at showcasing innovative projects and Entrepreneurs in an effort to highlight the urgency of dealing with water-related challenges and to encourage start-ups and businesses from the region to find innovative solutions that deal with the issue.
A total of 73 projects applied to the contest, of which 13 made it to the jury’s votes based on SwitchMed’s pre-selection. Then a jury of 7 members including regional key experts on the Environment and the Blue Economy made a selection of the 7 finalists based on a very strict set of criteria including the environmental and socio-economic impact of the project as well as sustainability in circular-economy mode. The projects were then open to public votes with a participation of 4075 voters to choose their winners.
The second component of the campaign included a series of key messages creating awareness about the water urgency, and a video series by influencers and activities in the 7 countries, highlighting different issues in different countries.
A successful Awards Ceremony at Ecomondo
To conclude the #EyesOnBlue competition and campaign that was launched in partnership with SwitchMed on the occasion of the World Oceans’ Day (8 June), an Awards Ceremony took place at the Ecomondo event on 10 November, in Italy.
This event was dedicated to announce and reward the top 3 entrepreneurs whose projects focus on the 'Blue Economy', addressing water scarcity and water issues in 8 countries of the Southern Mediterranean.
The winners were:
- First Prize: IRRIAPP - Tunisia: a web and mobile application offering a real-time monitoring and irrigation management system for farmers, while promoting sustainable, green solutions to combat water scarcity.
- Second Prize: Petra Green - Jordan: An ingenious water waste solution for the Second most water-scarce country in the world.
- Third Prize: Chitosan - Egypt: a new fertilizer made of shrimps’ waste that enables growers to have healthier soils and water systems, and that contributes to water optimisation and allows the extension of products’ shelf life.
- And the « Coup de cœur du jury » for Qout - Libya: a local farm aimed at producing organic and fresh products in a sustainable and economically sound manner.