Dr. Nathalie Hilmi took part in 2 international economic conferences

Dr. Nathalie Hilmi, head of the Environmental economics theme in the Centre Scientifique de Monaco, actively participated in the ASSA conference in San Antonio, Texas, and took part in the Middle East Economic Association (MEEA) board meeting.

The Allied Social Science Associations (ASSA) conference, held annually, is a premier platform for economists worldwide. In collaboration with 64 related disciplines, it serves as a hub for professionals to share insights, collaborate, and stay informed about the latest research in the field. Established in 1885, the American Economic Association (AEA) organizes this three-day event each January, facilitating the presentation of papers on general economic topics. The conference attracts over 20,000 members from academia, business, government, and consulting groups, reflecting a diverse and dedicated community committed to economics research and teaching. Also, the Middle East Economic Association (MEEA) is a private, non-profit, and non-political organization dedicated to the scholarly study of the economies and economics of the Middle East. MEEA serves as a forum for research dissemination and academic exchange by comprising scholars with a keen interest in the region.

During the ASSA conference, Dr. Nathalie Hilmi presented a paper entitled "Marine Protected Areas in the Mediterranean Sea" co-authored by her interns Cheyenne Couvreur and Veronica Luz Delvasto Algarin. This insightful presentation addressed the urgency of increasing marine protection, particularly in the Mediterranean. Dr. Hilmi illuminated the global commitment to protecting at least 30% of the world's ocean by 2030, aligning with recent international agreements. The discussion unfolded to reveal the stark contrast between the protection levels of terrestrial and marine environments, emphasizing the critical gaps in safeguarding marine ecosystems. Specifically focusing on the Mediterranean Sea, she showcased significant research indicating that only a fraction of the area enjoys any form of protection. The presentation presented the discourse on Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), shedding light on the urgency to increase protected areas in the marine environment. It navigated the evolving perception of MPAs in scientific discussions and policy debates, emphasizing that not all designated protected areas yield significant ecological and socioeconomic benefits. The paper advocated for a network of small, fully protected MPAs, challenging the conventional notion of large protected areas under lower statuses. Furthermore, governance challenges and equity issues surrounding the sharing of benefits from marine genetic resources were brought to the forefront. The presentation concluded by reinforcing the integral role of transparent and modern ocean governance in addressing the interconnected crises of climate change, biodiversity loss, and the overall decline in ocean health. Dr. Hilmi's presentation at the ASSA conference contributed valuable insights to the academic community.
In addition, Dr. Nathalie Hilmi presented key findings from IPCC reports and her research on the ocean and Blue Carbon during a panel discussion titled "Future of Climate Transition and Finance in the MENA Region." The panel AEA/MEEA, moderated by Dr. Hassan Aly from Nile University, Cairo, featured esteemed panelists including Mahmoud Mohieldin (Special Envoy on Financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development - United Nations), Nathalie Hilmi (CSM) and Roberta Gatti (Chief Economist, Middle East and North Africa, The World Bank). The discussion delved into the challenges and opportunities associated with energy transition in the Middle East and North Africa region. Topics covered included macroeconomic impacts, the role of local government and the private sector, and the crucial aspect of finance in supporting a shift towards a more sustainable energy system.

This panel highlighted the dynamic changes in the MENA region's energy landscape, focusing on the growing interest in energy transition and renewable energy sources. Despite challenges such as fossil fuel dependency and policy uncertainties, the discussion emphasized the potential for increased investment in renewable energy and sustainable finance to facilitate a successful energy transition in the region. 

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Dr. Nathalie Hilmi