UfM launches Plastic Busters MPAs programme | Tunisia News Gazette

UfM launches Plastic Busters MPAs programme

An environmental project “Plastic Busters MPAs: Preserving biodiversity from plastics in Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas was launched by the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), the European Union’s Interreg MED Programme, the Siena University and the Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (Italian: ISPRA), the UfM announced on Wednesday.

The project funded by the EU Interreg Med Programme with Euros 5 million, stems from the Plastic Busters initiative promoted by the University of Siena and labelled in 2016 by the UfM 43 member States as a priority regional initiative to prevent, reduce and remove marine litter from the Mediterranean Sea.

With a total budget of Euros 8.8 million (about 26MD) and 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, the UfM added.

The project will also tackle marine litter, and in particular plastic waste, via a co-ordinated approach in order to diagnose its impact on biodiversity in marine protected areas � including the identification of marine litter hotspots-, define and test the surveillance, prevention and mitigation measures of marine pollution from plastic waste, as well as develop a common framework of marine litter actions towards the conservation of biodiversity in Mediterranean marine protected areas.

The project will also contribute to implement a Regional Plan on Marine Litter Management in the Mediterranean.

Marine litter represents a serious threat to the marine and coastal environments of the Mediterranean and to human health. Approximately 80% of marine litter is land-based; most of it is made of plastic and micro-plastics.

Marine litter has been highlighted as emerging priority within the UfM Ministerial 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, said Mohamad Afana, UfM Co-President for Environment, Director of Policies & Institutional Development at the Ministry of Environment of Jordan.

Source: TAP News Agency

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