Clean Up The Med, the awareness campaign to raise awareness among citizens on the reduction of marine litter, returned on May 14, for three mobilization weekends that involved associations, universities, municipalities, public bodies, schools and citizens. From Morocco to France, from Greece to Malta, from Croatia to Palestine, hundreds of volunteers also this year met 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. The campaign started on the weekend of 14, 15 and 16 May and will continued throughout the Mediterranean until the end of May. A major environmental volunteer initiative was promoted this year by COMMON (COastal Management and Monitoring Network for tackling marine litter in Mediterranean sea), a European project funded by Eni CBC Med Programme that involves Italy, Lebanon and Tunisia with the aim of protecting the coasts of the Mediterranean from the marine litter through sustainable management.
The Tyre Coast Nature Reserve joined this big event with 4 campaigns which started on the 23rd and will continue until the 30th of May 2021, at the beaches of Abbassyeh, TCNR and Al Bayyadah caves In the South, and Ramlet El Bayda in Beirut, with the participation of volunteers from the following NGOs, schools and institutions: Vamos Todos, Rotary Tyre Europa, Tyre Second public school, AL Jalil Organization for development, Al Afaaq Institute for Development-Imam Sadr Foundation, Al Tadamon cultural social association, Univert NGO, Al Risala scouts – Al Mansouri, Fikr w Insan NGO, Gestion Dynamique NGO, Operation Big Blue Association (OBBA), Makhzoumi Foundation, Development for People and Nature Association – DPNA, Tyre municipality and Al Kharayeb municipality.
This year, despite the arrival of a marked summer for the second consecutive year since the Covid-19 emergency, 85 organizations from 16 countries have joined the initiative: Italy, France, Spain, Algeria, Lebanon, Tunisia, Egypt, Palestine, Croatia, Cyprus, Morocco, Malta, Turkey, Libya, Greece, and Monaco. In addition to the physical removal of waste, the campaign aims to raise awareness in the community, to restore cleaner beaches, coasts, and reefs and to monitor the health of the Mediterranean coasts. The campaign took place in complete safety, a sign that the fight for a cleaner planet is a priority without borders.
“Every year, the beaches and the seabed of the Mediterranean Sea collect more than 8 tons of waste, of which over 80% is plastic: from bottle caps to toys, from cotton buds to bags. Human activities and poor waste management on land are, as is now known to most, among the main causes of stranded waste. As stated by the World Bank, in the southern Mediterranean countries a constant trend towards increasing per capita waste production has emerged in recent years, with an average of 489 kg of waste per year, which is destined to increase in the future (+ 29% in 2030 and + 50% in 2050) because of population growth and the predominant linear economic paradigm. Even if the data available for the Southern Mediterranean countries are limited, an increase in the plastic fraction seems to be emerging” Nahed Msayleb, Director of Tyre Coast Nature Reserve and partner of COMMON project told. “Recently, PPEs (gloves, masks, empty sanitizer containers, etc…) associated with the emerging COVID-19 pandemic, were increasingly encountered at the beaches and in the sea, which rings a bell about the need for an integrated approach based on the principles of ICZM to address the issue of plastic pollution in a systematic way”.
On the occasion of the campaign, the COMMON project allows the monitoring and collection of useful data to analyse the state of health of the Mediterranean: the kilos and the type of waste collected during each appointment will be processed and made available on www.commonproject.it, a portal created to collect information and tools 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 also the number of gloves, masks and protective devices will be surveyed.
The Scheduled activities:
- Vamos Todos” & “Fekr w Insan” in collaboration with TCNR will conduct a CUTM campaign on May 30th @ Abbassyeh beach;
- Fekr w Insan” in collaboration with TCNR will conduct a CUTM campaign on May 23rd @ TCNR beach;
- OBBA” will conduct a CUTM campaign on May 23rd @ Ramlet El Bayda beach;
- Risala scouts – Al Mansouri” will conduct a CUTM campaign on May 23rd @ Al Mansouri beach and Al Bayyadah caves;
- AL Jalil Organization for development” will conduct a CUTM campaign on May 23rd @ Rashiedyeh beach;
- Rotary Tyre Europa, Tyre Second public school, Al Afaaq Institute for Development-Imam Sadr Foundation, Al Tadamon cultural social association, Univert NGO, Gestion Dynamique NGO, Makhzoumi Foundation, DPNA, Tyre municipality and Al Kharayeb municipality” in collaboration with TCNR will conduct a CUTM campaign on May 23rd @ Tyre beaches.
It is possible to join one or more activities on the calendar by writing to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.