The first edition of Eu funded COMMON project beach clean campaign from 25th to 27th September
17 countries involved: from Algeria to France, from Palestine to Tunisia
A cohesive Mediterranean in the fight against marine litter. From Algeria to France, from Greece to Malta, from Portugal to Palestine, hundreds of volunteers will meet each other on the beaches of the whole Mediterranean, armed with buckets, sacks, and gloves with a single goal: to clean them of waste for a cleaner sea.
Clean Up The Med, an awareness campaign on sustainable waste management and marine litter reduction, will start from 25th to 27th September, for a mobilization weekend that will involve public bodies, associations, universities, municipalities, schools and citizens.
A major environmental volunteer initiative promoted by the COMMON project (COastal Management and Monitoring Network for tackling marine litter in Mediterranean sea), a European project funded by Eni CBC Med and involving Italy, Lebanon and Tunisia with the aim of protecting the Mediterranean coasts from marine waste through a sustainable management.
Clean Up The Med is a campaign born in 1995 from the Italian NGO Legambiente, which over the years has involved 21 Mediterranean countries, over 1500 locations and thousands of volunteers. The COMMON project will further expand the boundaries of the campaign, involving Lebanon and Tunisia on the front lines. At the end of a summer marked by a health emergency, more than 80 associations from 17 countries have joined the initiative: Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Croatia, North Macedonia, Malta, Cyprus, Turkey, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon.
Associations, organizations, municipalities, scouts, professional divers, schools and NGOs, will all join Amwaj and TCNR in the CUTM campaign on public beaches of their relative coasts concomitantly on the 27th of September, from Saida (Lebanon) southward to Kharayeb, Abbasiyeh, Tyre, Rasheedyeh, Al Mansouri, Qolayli and down to the Red Sea of Jordan’s Aqaba and the shores of the Dead Sea west of Amman.
In addition to the physical removal of waste, the Clean Up The Med campaign aims to raise awareness among the community, to restore cleaner beaches, coasts and cliffs to the commons. Every year, beaches and seabed collect over 8 tons of waste, of which more than 80% is plastic: from bottle caps to toys, from cotton buds to bags. Among the main causes of stranded waste, human activities and poor waste management on land.
Moreover, COMMON project will allow the monitoring and collection of data, useful for analysing the state of health of the Mediterranean. The amounts and types of waste collected during each appointment will be processed and made available on the www.commonproject.it platform, a portal created to collect data on the problem of marine litter in the Mediterranean Sea and to enhance the importance of protecting our sea and the biodiversity it preserves. Furthermore, this year, the number of gloves, masks, and other objects related to the health emergency, increasingly present on our beaches, will be surveyed.
The nature of wastes and trash collected will be an indicator of the main source/s of littering, which will help in later phases to better address the problem and mitigate it.
The Scheduled activities:
On Sunday, the 27th of September at 7 a.m., the organizations mentioned above will conduct the CUTM campaign in parallel on the beaches of: Saida southward to Al Kharayeb, Abbasyeh, TCNR & Rasheedyeh – Tyre, Al Mansouri and Qolaili. Some divers will collect wastes from the bottom of the sea in Tyre, Mansouri and Saida. After the collection of wastes from all the mentioned shores, the filled bags will be counted, weighed and generally categorized, and all resulted data will be reported online on the CUTM’s webpage along with pictures from each beach and group.
Among the associations present:
- From Tyre: Municipality of Tyre; Union of Tyre Municipalities; Al Afaaq Institute for Development – Vocational Training division; Al Afaak institute; Tyre second public school; TCS school; Rotaract Tyre – Europa; Thought and Human Association; UniVert Environmental Association; Idea & Instinct initiative; Glimzi SAM group (group of activists); Tadamon Organization; Conservation of the Environment NGO; Lebanon Diving Center; Green Southerners; Youths of Qana; GreenArea; Elissar Foundation; Patriotic Vision Association PVA; Environment Protection Association; Al Risala Scouts and Scouts of Tyre; Independent activists;
- From Saida: Sidon Diving Club; Order of Divers;
- From Kharayeb (North to Tyre): Municipality of Kharayeb; Al Risala scouts; Imam Mahdi scouts; Manahel Ahl Al-Bayt Cultural Forum; Al Fajr cultural club; Agricultural cooperative;
- From Rasheedyeh Camp (in the middle of TCNR): UNRWA – Rasheedyeh; Al Jaleel Organization;
- From Al Masouri (South to Tyre): Al Risala scouts; Orange House;
- From Jordan: Human Development & the Environment NGO, Aqaba & Dead Sea West Bank – Amman
And if you want to join as a group, or simply want to clean your nearest beaches, you can tag COMMON Med Project on social media with the hashtag #CleanUpTheMed.
The partnership: The COMMON project, funded by ENI CBC Med Programme with a total budget of 2.2 million euros, involves Legambiente, the University of Siena, the National Institute of Sciences and Technologies of the Sea of Tunis, the CIHEAM Bari, the Lebanese NGO Amwaj of the Environment, the University of Sousse and the Tyre Coast Nature Reserve in Lebanon. The common goal is the reduction of marine litter in 5 pilot areas, planning the use and monitoring of resources and using a participatory approach, with the ambition of testing a model potentially transferable to the entire Mediterranean basin.