UfM launches regional programme to clean seas

Amman, The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), the EU Interreg Med Programme, the University of Siena and the Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA) launched in Siena the project “Plastic Busters MPAs: preserving biodiversity from plastics in Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas”.

Marine litter represents a serious threat to the marine and coastal environments of the Mediterranean and to human health as around 80% of marine litter is land-based; most of it is made of plastic and micro-plastics, according to a UfM statement issued on Wednesday.

The project “Plastic Busters MPAs” benefits from Euros 5 million funding by the EU Interreg Med Programme.

The project will be implemented by the University of Siena, the ISPRA and a wide consortium of national and regional organizations with the overall goal of maintaining biodiversity and preserving natural ecosystems in pelagic and coastal marine protected areas by implementing a harmonized approach against marine litter, explained the statement.

Over a 4-year period, the project will address the entire management cycle of marine litter, from monitoring and assessment to prevention and mitigation, as well as actions to strengthen networking between and among pelagic and coastal marine protected areas located in Albania Croatia Greece Italy, France and Spain, noted the statement.

Commenting on the initiative, Mohammed Afana, UfM Co-President for Environment, Director of Policies & Institutional Development at the Jordanian Ministry of Environment said: “Marine litter has been highlighted as emerging priority within the UfM Ministerial Declaration on Environment and Climate Change, adopted by the 43 countries in 2014, and continues to be a top priority in the UfM agenda with respect to both, depollution and pollution prevention aspects. This goes with the need for the Mediterranean region to push forward the transition towards a circular economy”.

Source: Jordan News Agency