The SD-MED Association is a joint Greek, French and international non-profit enterprise. Its aim is to strengthen cooperation in the field of Mediterranean development and sustainable construction. Its partnership concept is in line with French policy (as outlined at the Johannesburg Summit of September 2002) on the need to work together in the region in order to allow a common vision of the Mediterranean `s future to emerge. Our own goal is to push forward with European-Mediterranean partnership as conceived by the EU: as a partnership in an economic sense, serving the environment on the one hand, by confronting ecological imbalances and sharing in all the difficult choices of sustainable development, and serving humankind on the other, by concentrating on education, health, cultural empowerment, and homes.
Main challenge of SD-MED is to promote the idea and practice of sustainable development concentrating on spatial planning and urban environment and construction through cooperation between players and stakeholders at various different levels.
- All territorial actors and players at various different levels (local, regional, national, European, international) and civil society agencies active in sustainable development and sustainable construction iissues.
- Activities of various kinds (information, education, culture) to stimulate public awareness through such means as lectures, seminars, conferences, publications, and the Internet sites.
- Accumulating, structuring, and monitoring the required body of knowledge and information, creating databases for sustainable construction, internationally and specifically in the Mediterranean region, and for the policy of individual countries about sustainable construction and environmental quality.
- Holding workshops and setting up networks to carry out events, to publish information, to work on studies and projects, to conduct research and to provide consultancy facilities on sustainable development and on high environmental quality on all spatial scales (building, spatial unity, regional scale, etc).
- Making representations to the appropriate national and European authorities and to international organizations, and joining European and international networks with goals similar to those of this Association.
- Any action, in general, conducive to the transmission of technical and technological know-how into and out of the Mediterranean region, and to cultural dialogue and mutual economic support between Mediterranean players.
The modes of action
- Developing scientific and technical cooperation and cultural and economic contacts relating to sustainable development issues, between Greece, France and the other countries of the Mediterranean region
- Promoting Greek, French and international technical and technological know-how, culture, and science relating to sustainable construction
- Tightening and enhancing of Greek-French and international relationsUndertaking joint projects in the context of the European Union and other international organisations or networks.
- Promoting cultural dialogue and economic solidarity
- Incorporating sustainable development criteria and the concept and methodology of high environmental quality into programmes and projects on all spatial scales (building scale, city scale, spatial planning scale, regional scale)
- Promoting partnerships between and active participation by local and regional players, local populations, users and consumers so as to shape options that will be of benefit to sustainable development and sustainable construction and to implement and evaluate relevant programmes and projects.
- Educating or training regional and local players and agencies so as to ensure shared understanding and enable them actively to take part in planning, shaping and operating environmental quality plans and programmes.
- Reinforcing the transfer and exchange of innovative techniques, methods, instruments and other means the aim of which is sustainable construction and building of high environmental quality in the Mediterranean region.
- Developing basic methodologies which correspond to particular local problems and needs, and helping local players and agencies to create systems adjusted to their own local conditions.
The SD-MED initiative was given birth through a multiannual collaboration between a Greek interdisciplinary team (architects engineers, mechanical engineers, physicians etc. ) with specific interest and scientific work in sustainable development and building issues and some relevant French actors dealing with High Environmental Quality (HQE) in the built environment, idea and practice that is promoted with success by the Association HQE, an Association of public character, that is activated in France already since 1996, presided by M.Dominique BIDOU. This collaboration aimed mainly to create common sensitisation and dissemination actions. The first common international event took place in Drama, in March 2001, with the initiative both of the President of the Enlarged Prefectoral Authority Drama-Kavala-Xanthi, M.Constantinos Tatsis and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Public Administration and Decentralisation, as well.
The establishment and shaping of the SD-MED Network was moreover enhanced by the collaboration of the same Greek Team with the International Network iiSBE, and more specifically with its Executive Director Mr.Nils Larsson and its Marketing Manager Mr Ronald ROVERS, as well as with the officer in charge of sustainable building programmes on behalf of OECD Mr Hirohisa AWANO. Later on, the UNEP/DTIE Programme showed particular interest for this initiative and is now participating officially and actively in the SD-MED Network, represented by M. Arab HOBALLAH, Head of Production and Consumption Branch of the United Nations Environment Program and ex. Deputy Coordinator of the UNEP/Mediterranean Action Plan, Niclas SVENINGSEN, officer in charge of the recent initiative SBCI of UNEP/DTIE and Thierry BRAINE-BONNAIRE ( Arcelor Mittal), President of the SBCI Board.
Nevertheless, the establishment of this informal, up to September 2004, SD-MED network became a reality, through the LIFE-ENV SB-MED Project whose Project Manager and then Scientific Responsible and Coordinator on behalf of the Municipality of Athens Development Agency (AEDA) was Dr Stella Kyvelou, Chairman of the Administrative Council of the Association SD-MED. This Project aimed at enhancing of transferability of know-how concerning sustainable building from northern countries in the Mediterranean region, thus rendering Greece a centre of dissemination of know-how to the wider region. Designed by the SD-MED informal network for the Municipality of Athens Development Agency and thus mostly based on the French approach HQE, it was aiming at shaping a specific Mediterranean methodology based on the HQE, with an adaptability at a macro-regional level (methodology SD-MED). This study has been accomplished by an SD-MED team of experts and in cooperation with the Association HQE for validation issues. The input of the SD-MED experts in order to shape a new 'SD-MED process' for the application of sustainable development criteria in the built environment has been presented by the PULIM (Presses Universitaires de Limoges) in 2006.
Furthermore SD-MED mission and role has been enhanced through some international events held under its scientific and organisational coordination. To note, among them, the Athens LIFE SB05MED ' Sustainable construction : action for sustainability in the Mediterranean region' and the French-Hellenic and International meeting 'Which policies of planning and urban development in the context of sustainability? Transformations of the urban phenomenon, the built environment and the real estate market 'held at the French Institute of Athens under the aegis of the French Embassy in Greece, on 16-17 May 2007.