" The SD-MED Association is a joint Greek, French and international non-profit enterprise. Its aim is to strengthen cooperation in the field of sustainable development and construction in the Mediterranean region. 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 housing. We place special emphasis on sustainable construction, because we think it is a good way of ensuring partnerships built around sustainable development and getting to grips with urban and regional building projects. The emphasis is, therefore, on sustainable construction and high environmental quality. It is also on all issues related to the confrontation of the urban and natural environment with climate change mainly as far as urban planning and management are concerned. Here Greece is in a position to become, above and beyond its own domestic potential, a centre of dissemination of know-how throughout the Balkans and the East Mediterranean area.
We are especially grateful to France 's ex. ambassadors to Greece, H.E. Bruno DELAYE, ex.Director of the French Institute of Athens M.Alain FOHR and to the Economic Mission of his Embassy for graciously agreeing to place our principal events for the period 2007-2008 under their aegis. We are also grateful to France's ex.ambassador to Greece H.E Christophe FARNAUD and ex.Director of the french Institute of Greece Mrs Catherine SUARD for their continuous support of our activities."
I myself am a believer in the 'high environmental quality' (HQE) procedure , which I tried out when planning, building and making functional the Maryse Bastie College in Limoges, under the works control of the Limousin Region during my time as its president . I can see at least three major virtues in it. To start with, it takes into consideration the building project as a whole, from the materials used, to keeping the site in good nick, taking in on the way direct and indirect cost control. Next, when relating the building to its environment, the procedure is not confined to the immediate aims, but takes the medium term and the long term into account. Lastly, it is per se instructive, in that it sets an example for the players in the operation, for other works controllers, for future users of the building, and for public opinion at large. Of course HQE has an immediate cost: to judge from my own experience, this added cost is more an investment than a debit.
The SD-MED procedure is perfectly in the spirit of HQE. If a construction is to be in harmony with its environment, it must respect the individual character of the latter, whatever that may be. The Mediterranean area is not like any other. Its landscapes, its climate, and its peoples, with their history, culture, and way of life, naturally lead to an adapted version of the main principles of HQE: sustainable development has meaning only if it gives full play to spatial diversity. We are well aware how much the values of today owe to the Mediterranean world. It is vital for that world to go forward towards sustainable development without ceasing to be its own self.