20 Dec 2021

by The Switchers

COP22Med : The Contracting Parties of the Barcelona Convention adopt decisions for the benefit of the Switchers

The 22nd meeting of the 22 Contracting Parties of the Barcelona Convention, held in Antalya during 7-10th December 2021, has been particularly successful, through the adoption of 19 regional measures addressing an array of environmental issues, paving the way towards a healthier and productive Mediterranean for the future generations.

From the Switchers community side, this COP has been the most impactful and rewarding one thanks to two main reasons. Firstly, the Spanish Switcher Hügel has been selected to deliver a statement on the outcome of the pre-COP22 Youth event, for the first time in this kind of international meeting.


"I’m very grateful to represent the youth on the COP22Med and to convey an important message to the Mediterranean countries. Thanks so much for this opportunity to Switchers community," addressed Aina Pujol, founder of Hügel and one of the three Mediterranean youth representatives during the meeting.

The Switchers community, is an initiative of the UNEP/MAP and SCP/RAC facilitating ecological transition by connecting green entrepreneurs in Mediterranean countries. Pujol, has recently joined the community. Earlier this year, she created her own sustainable business, Hügel, aiming at reducing fashion pollution, using recycled fabric and natural dyes to contribute to a circular economy, fight pollution, and support the United Nations development goals. Read her story here.

As ambassador of the Switchers, she has also expressed later in her speech the challenges that many green entrepreneurs face to access funds. “The youth of the Mediterranean have the common will to make change, ensuring a green recovery, but we lack the resources”.

The second reason why this meeting took some considerable steps forward for our community of green entrepreneurs is the adopted Decision IG 25/18 with a set of 12 Regional Measures to support the development of sustainable businesses and to strengthen the demand for sustainable products in the Mediterranean.

Green start-ups like the Switchers, have now been recognized officially for the first time, as the main drivers of the new and emerging business models needed for the transition towards sustainability. In fact, they not only create economic value, through the creation of green businesses and employment, but also ecological value by addressing environmental challenges, and social value by addressing social needs.

The regional measures are expected to promote harmonization of policies and approaches among regional actors, which will increase the adoption of eco-innovation techniques among businesses, generating new green jobs, and strengthening the demand for more sustainable products at national levels.

These measures mean, on the mid-term, the creation of incentives for companies to adopt circular principles, less structural obstacles to create green businesses, more support, methodologies and tools to Business Support Organizations, among others.