[MEDISS] Recherche permanente sur la durabilité, le défi climatique et les réponses innovantes : conférences virtuelles d´EURACTIVE

Laura Stara, CRENoS

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Innovative strategies need ongoing education, research, and study. MEDISS project, testing innovative solutions in the use of treated wastewater and desalination of brackish water, contributes to foster positive behavioural change and mitigate climate change. 

It does not confine itself to contribute to sustainable water balance but has wider implications. It consists of a constant and continuous process to involve people, to respond to climate challenges considering the different and specific needs of the local communities. 

Regarding the thematic within MEDISS area of interest, EURACTIVE holds and moderate virtual conferences from the 7th to the 17th of December 2020. The discussions regard the European Commission’s new Circular Economy Plan: the European Green Deal.

Each conference focuses on specific topics: from singular strategies (e.g. Sustainable Product Policy Framework), definitions (e.g. climate literacy, product sustainability), the consciousness that needs to be built among the citizens and all the parties that must be involved to work together and answer to the climate challenge innovatively and sustainably. 

In the following table, there is the schedule of the conferences in line with MEDISS fields of interest.

10:00 – 11:30 (CET)    
Farm to fork and feed additives: what lies ahead?
Farm to Fork (F2F) is the ten-year plan developed by the European Commission to guide the transition to a fair, healthy, and environmentally friendly food system. One of the main aims of the F2F strategy is to reduce the environmental and climate impact of animal production, avoid carbon leakage through imports, and to support the ongoing transition towards more sustainable livestock farming.
The EURACTIVE virtual conference focuses on the critical crossroads; the next steps that need to be taken to foster, facilitate and accommodate the authorization of feed additives; and the role played by the innovative products supporting sustainability.
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9:30 – 10:45 (CET)

Sustainable products policy: do all stakeholders agree on what is “sustainable”?
Currently, there is no comprehensive set of requirements to ensure that all products placed on the EU market become increasingly sustainable and follow the circular pattern. The European Commission considers that the current linear pattern rather than facilitate sustainable production stimulates fast production of products that cannot be easily reused, repaired, or recycled. Products prices do not reflect their environmental and societal costs. Consumers' misinformation on the sustainability of products further contributes to the problem.
This virtual conference focuses on the definition for “product sustainability”: how the EU can ensure that all products placed on the EU market become increasingly sustainable, how to enforce sustainability criteria, the trade-offs between criteria and the awareness of policymakers and the public, and the consumers’ knowledge and awareness about the products’ environmental footprint.  
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9:30 – 10:45 (CET)
Towards Carbon neutrality – one year in
Focus on the European Commission’s progress on its climate-neutral strategy. Main topics:
How business and citizens can contribute to climate-proofing
How to grow, manufacture, and consume its food and drink in the most sustainable way
Resilience building, prevention, and preparedness
Climate targets and net incomes for EU jobs.
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16:00 – 17:15 (CET)    
How to talk climate? Engaging all EU citizens in the climate discussion
“Climate literacy” is essential to bring up people's consciousness and orient them towards action and social change. the strengthening of climate education and engagement can be one of the most effective ways to achieve carbon-neutral societies by 2050. During the conference, the discussion will raise questions on who should take the lead among policymakers, teachers, media, and climate activists.
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9:30 – 10:45 (CET)
Delivering on the EU green deal: what role for innovation and disruptive technologies in agriculture?
The agricultural field is strongly impacted by global warming, but it is also a driver of climate change at the same time. It plays a key role in a sustainable future. Technological innovations have the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to make agricultural resources more resilient to climate variations. 
There are still different points of view on which model is best suited to deliver and provide for sufficient innovation for society. 
This virtual conference focuses on how to achieve the Green Deals goals through innovative solutions in the agricultural field, and how the Commission’s IP Action Plan better protect innovation whilst facilitating a fast move towards a greener economy.
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14:30 – 15:45 (CET)
Atteindre la souveraineté alimentaire: quells roles pour l’innovation et les technologies de rupture?
This virtual conference, held entirely in French, focuses on food sovereignty: what it means, how it involves French producers, its implications at country level, what “revolutionary” innovations would be needed.
This thematic is increasingly debated, especially in the current historical context, during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, when depending on foreign markets has become more problematic than the importance of creating links between farmers, the local food chain and local markets increased.
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