Can Intercultural Dialogue address Climate Change? The #3 online forum of the Anna Lindh Foundation Virtual Marathon

Experts and activists from the EuroMed region join the Anna Lindh Foundation Virtual Marathon for
dialogue: 63 online events, 42 days

Can borders of countries or divisions within societies limit the solutions to a global issue such as climate
change? The third main event of the Anna Lindh Foundation Virtual Marathon for Dialogue in the EuroMed
region went straight to the point of this contradiction. Thanks to the participants’ voices, people who are
trying to make a difference in research, organization, activism, focusing on the common element of their
experiences: inclusion.

The Anna Lindh Foundation Virtual Marathon for Dialogue in the EuroMed region gathers activities of ALF
civil society Network and partner organizations to take place for 42 days from 19 May to 29 June. The VM
aims to highlight the importance of the Intercultural Dialogue to build sustainable societies in the EuroMed
region, considering the challenges and opportunities brought about by the Covid19 pandemic. Towards this
goal, in addition to a rich program of civil society and partner-led activities, a series of Weekly Public Virtual
Dialogues organized by the Anna Lindh Foundation was organized to stimulate a broad conversation and
reflection on significant issues impacting mutual perceptions between people in the region and standard
action to jointly address social and cultural challenges affecting societies North, South, East and West of the

The first two events of the Alf Virtual Marathon for Dialogue dealt with Generation #Insta, “the new faces
of positive social engagement in the Euro-Med,” and the “Digital Threats and Opportunities for intercultural
dialogue.” The third online event, moderated by Aissam Benaissa (Connect NordAfrika), started from an
analysis of the situation of the Mediterranean region, strongly affected by climate change and
environmental degradation, and with strong population growth, especially in coastal areas. To make the
situation more delicate, conflicts, poverty, and the impacts of the global threat from climate change cause
an increased migration flow (EEA-UNEP/MAP Report, 2020). The different and varied experiences of the
panellists became the key to generating innovative and practical ideas. Eleonora Insalaco, Anna Lindh
Foundation, introduced the concept of European Green Deal extended to the Mediterranean region,
“Regarding the environment, the two shores of the Mediterranean are completely interconnected, not only
for challenges but also for opportunities […] for example environmental migration is a huge component of
migratory flows in the Mediterranean”. Sergi Nuss, Geography Department – University of Girona,
Catalunya, explained how migrants could be more than victims, “Migrants can be proactive in developing
solutions towards climate changes”, “Equity and environmental justice are priorities and Intercultural
Dialogue can help to make them important”. Gilda Catalano, Professor of Sociology of the Environment and
Territory, Università della Calabria Italy, explained the bigger scenario, not only from the geographical point
of view “Society is embedded in the environment; every social action is an environmental action”, this
makes “The climate change a global spy, an indicator to understand history in the centuries and decades,
what has been done in terms of economy, culture and style of life. It also shows geographical differences
and inequalities”. Marco Musso, ComeUnaMarea Onlus, Italy also took in consideration the consumeristic
aspect of the problem, to face what he called the last call for OUR planet “sensitizing the consumers is a
great way to have results. For example, if we consider the impact on the environment, fashion is the
second economic sector, after the oil sector”. Sahar Mahfouz, Makassed ABS Cambridge International
School, Lebanon, considered the educative aspect of the problem.

“Educators are responsible for revising the curriculum and include the environment in it.

The necessity of new unconventional and innovative approaches exists.”

Ahmed Yassin is among the activists who talked about their experiences. He deals with climate change and
tries to involve his country’s (Egypt) population by creating an organization, Banlastic (Ban Plastic). He
talked about the intercultural dialogue, “when it is absent from the equation, you will always lose the
battle. Everyone must be on the table; everybody must be included in the equation, so that diversity of the
thoughts is integrated with the bigger problem, the climate emergency”; Raniah Alsayed, manager of the
Alwan wa Awtar Youth Hub, Egypt, told her story focusing on how “Intercultural Dialogue can help to raise
perception, appreciation, awareness and collective power when climate change is concerned.”
The next main events of the Marathon will deal with Arts and Education for intercultural cities, Intercultural
dialogue for sustainable societies (15 June), Fighting gender stereotypes, EuroMed Women for dialogue (23
June), the key role of Partnership in intercultural dialogue.
The Anna Lindh Foundation, promoter of the virtual Marathon, is an international organization, born in
2004, working from the Mediterranean to promote intercultural and civil society dialogue in the face of
growing mistrust and polarisation.

Headquartered in Alexandria, ALF has coordinators and management staff based across more than 40 countries ALF:

To watch the events of the Marathon, to be part of them, you can join the Facebook group at the following

Further event are taking place online in the 42 countries of the ALF network:

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