Professor Evangelos Raftopoulos,
Editor and Founding Director of MEPIELAN Centre,
Panteion University of Athens, Greece
Visiting Fellow, Downing College, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Approaching 2017, MEPIELAN E-Bulletin continues to operate as a promising academic arm of MEPIELAN Centre, providing a sourceful forum for law, governance and environmental sustainability while serving the promotion of strategic policies for sustainable development in the Mediterranean and of a deeper understanding of the complexity, inter-relationship, and, indeed, complementarity of the issues involved. The Bulletin, as a platform of scientific knowledge communication, has had, all these years, the most rewarding experience of bringing together academics, officers of international organizations, eminent experts, and promising young researchers, all those who, from various angles, contribute to the advancement of the normative language of environmental sustainability governance and the progressive knowledge-based construction of international common interest.
The reader of the Bulletin, making a tour through the archives of the Bulletin, is able to recall and reconstruct the – very often missing – vivid e-memory of the process of informed scientific and policy dialogue and, more perspectively, of the constant and discernible transformations of the generative context, both affecting the development of the understanding and governance of the issues related to aspects of environmental sustainability. The end-result of such detour is the realization that participatory and equitable governance, knowledge “engineering” international common interest, and unfailing regional and global solidarity may lie at the heart of understanding and implementing the globally heralded Sustainable Development Coals and the Agenda 2030.
MEPIELAN Centre, as an academic UNEP/MAP accredited partner and a newly elected member of the reformed 40-member Mediterranean Commission on Sustainable Development (MCSD) representing (together with the FEMISE and Med-SDSN) the Scientific Community Croup, is committed to pursue, within the scope of its capability and inter alia
, two inter-related main strategies:
First, the promotion of the educational aspect of the Sustainability Mediterranean Governance, by organizing and carrying out, in cooperation with UNEP/MAP and other prestigious educational institutions and research centres, a postgraduate programme entitled “International Governance and Sustainable Development in the Mediterranean Region”, for the academic year 2017-2018, leading to a Master’s Degree. MEPIELAN Centre will, thus, directly contribute to Objective 6 (“Improving Governance in Support of Sustainable Development”) of the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development 2016-2015, and, more specifically, to the Strategic Direction 6.4 (“Promote Education and Research for Sustainable Development”) but also to the more general UNEP/MAP Mid-Term Strategy 2016-2021.
Secondly, the advancement of public trust approach to Sustainability Governance and mainstreaming it in the Barcelona Convention, by developing a cooperative project together with pre-eminent university centres and competent international bodies, aiming at exploring the introduction of the Public Trust Approach into the Barcelona Convention system and beyond, in order to provide a solid legal and policy platform to effectively address sustainability aspects and substantially enhance their implementation. As a result, MEPIELAN Centre will also creatively support the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development 2016-2015 to one of its most ambitious objectives (“Improving governance in support of sustainable development”) and, specifically, to the legally challenging “need to advance public trusteeship concepts in the existing instruments for better and more equitable governance and more effective and efficient public participation”, as is explicitly stated in the framework of this objective (UNEP (DEPI)/MED IG.22/28, Annex, 155). And as I have concluded in my previous Advanced Editorial (Dancing with the Transposition of the Public Trust Approach in the Realm of Conventional Environmental Governance
) “The proposed exploration of public trust approach may provide this innovative fertilizing perspective and generate the required legal insights into the sustainable governance of the Barcelona Convention system and beyond, responding to other complex environmental challenges.”.
MEPIELAN E-Bulletin is a dynamic electronic newsletter of MEPIELAN Centre, Panteion University of Athens, Greece. It features guest articles, insights articles, critical forum textual contributions and reflections, specially selected documents and cases, book reviews as well as news on thematic topics of direct interest of MEPIELAN Centre and on the cooperative activities and role of MEPIELAN Centre. Its content bridges theory and practice perspectives of international law, international environmental law, sustainable development, and international negotiating process, thus serving the primary goal of Centre: to develop an integrated, inter-disciplinary, context-related and sustainably effective governance approach creating, protecting and advancing international common interest in the fields above. Providing a knowledge- and information-sharing platform and a scholarly forum for the promotion of innovative ideas and enlightened critical views, the Bulletin aims at contributing to a broader scholarly debate on, and to a more stimulating learning process of, important issues of international common interest. The audience of the Bulletin includes academics, researchers, university students, international lawyers, officials and personnel of international organizations and institutional arrangements, heads and personnel of national authorities at all levels (national, regional and local), and members of the civil society at large.