Enalia Physis Environmental Research Center is proud to be part of the partnership of the MarLitCy project, together with the Famagusta Walled City Association, AKTI Project and Research Centre and the Scuba Divers Association.
MarLitCy is a 28 month long project, funded by EuropeAid that aims to use the problem of marine litter as a tool for promoting dialogue and building closer relationships in Cyprus. Marine litter is an increasing cross-sectoral global challenge with no geographic or political boundaries. In the last few years, it has received major attention from the European Commission. It represents one of the 11 descriptors within the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and several funding schemes have been made available to improve the understanding of associated processes and implications but also to promote and facilitate the coordination of efforts of its Member States towards solutions.
Being a multi-disciplinary and “novel” problem, marine litter forms the ideal tool for promoting cooperation and trust through joint actions between Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot NGOs and communities, while emphasising the capacity building and promotion of European values and practices in both parts of Cyprus. Our sea is in danger! This resonates well in both communities. Common actions from the grassroots of society will form the back bone of closer relations and trust. The project aims to enhance communication and cooperation between key players of both communities, specifically between local authorities, harbour authorities, industry, fishermen, divers, beach tourism enterprises, and children and youth, in order to tackle the Marine Litter problem. This will be achieved through the following interrelated activities:
- Island-wide survey on the perception of stakeholders regarding marine litter;
- Solution oriented educational activities in schools. School children will participate in hands-on and field activities and competitions;
- Transfer and implementation of best practices: the Best Practices Database of the European Research Project MARLISCO will be used, in order to transfer and implement practices for reducing marine litter, targeting the island’s harbours, with a focus on Famagusta Harbour, the fishing industry island-wide, coastal local authorities, coastal tourism enterprises;
- Island-wide awareness-raising campaigns: civic engagement will be triggered through attractive activities, such as the organisation of open “meet the … seabed” days, where the general public and especially children and youth will have the chance to meet with diving schools and become familiar with water sports and through these activities to become aware of marine littering and the need for the promotion of the “Good Environmental Status” of our marine environment. Also innovative beach and seabed clean-ups will be carried out with the implementation of international protocols, resulting in the creation of the Cyprus Marine Litter Database. Awareness-raising will be a continuous activity, designed to have a high degree of social and civic engagement;
- A photography contest involving students and youngsters across Cyprus will be implemented, and a common exhibition will be held.
We call all friends and members of Enalia Physis to join our efforts in order to tackle the universal Marine Litter problem through the cooperation of both communities.
More info can be found at the projects website http://www.marlitcy.eu/