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CleanSea consortium meets in Amsterdam to share preliminary results and prepare roadmap for clean seas February 3, 2015

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The CleanSea Project team met at IVM-VU University Amsterdam on 28 and 29 January 2015, marking the end of the second project year. Preliminary results were presented and discussed among project partners, who left the meeting prepared for the work to be done in the final year of the project (project runs January 2013 to December 2015). The meeting gave attention to a special outcome of the project: a “Roadmap” to a future litter-free sea, a document (in preparation) that will integrate project results across natural and social science research and provide guidance to policy makers and others tackling marine litter across European seas.

Several staff of the EUCC Mediterranean Centre attended the meeting as communication leaders and Mediterranean regional partner conducting research on socioeconomics and governance.

Researchers discussed aspects such as the biological effects of microplastics at the level of organisms, populations and ecosystems. These particles are caused by fragmentation, a topic also being studied in an indoor ‘plastic soup’ test system within the project. A newly designed microlitter sampler has been tested and fine-tuned and promises to be a valuable tool for future research and monitoring of the water column. Hyperspectral imaging, Raman spectrometry and mass spectrometry techniques are three approaches to identify plastics in environmental samples that are being applied in the project. Field sampling is continuing to produce micro- and macrolitter data in the European marine environment, some of which is also being used as input for the modeling exercises within the project.

Economic costs of marine litter in the fisheries sector, ports and on recreational beaches are being studied, as well as beach users’ perceptions in the three regional seas (North, Black and Mediterranean). The progress towards analysis of best practices and short-and long-term policy options to reduce marine litter in Europe was presented. These analyses encompass not only regulatory and market-based instruments but also more bottom-up approaches (e.g. co-management, communicative) to identify points of intervention in different areas of the manufactured product system that could be used to reduce marine litter. The project will address innovations and policy integration as part of the mix that can help Europe reach Good Environmental Status (GES).

The Black Sea Commission was represented at this meeting by BSC Officer Ms. Irina Makarenko, who provided advice and input from the perspective of this important Regional Sea Commission.

CleanSea is entering a crucial stage of validating and integrating the wealth of knowledge and data coming out of the project, which can be transferred to a variety of stakeholders. As a final project dissemination event, the CleanSea Symposium and Documentary Film Presentation will be held on the 3rd of December 2015 at the EYE Film Institute, a spectacular venue in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. This event is open to all interested stakeholders and the public.  Save the date!

Med-IAMER: Stakeholders consultation process – Adriatic-Ionian ecoregion January 23, 2015

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Med-IAMER: Stakeholders consultation process – Adriatic-Ionian ecoregion

Deadline : 28 February 2015This survey is part of the stakeholders’ consultation process led by Plan Bleu in the framework of Med-IAMER project. Med-IAMER proposes an integrated environmental status assessment to mitigate environmental risks to be addressed at trans-boundary scale in the Mediterranean Sea. The approach draws on the main pressures and the conservation level in the Western Mediterranean and the Adriatic-Ionian ecoregions to identify spatial hotspots of environmental pressures. (More information: http://www.medmaritimeprojects.eu/section/med-iamer)

Through this survey, we would like your feedback and comments on Med-IAMER preliminary results in the Adriatic-Ionian Basin, presented via factsheets, in order to improve the knowledge on the:
• major drivers and pressures identified in the Adriatic-Ionian region;
• data/indicators needs and gaps;
• most relevant policies and governance arrangements in influencing the level of pressure on resources.

Pescares, un proyecto que implica a todos los usuarios de las Reservas Marinas November 13, 2014

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El “Proyecto Pescares” es una iniciativa colectiva, desarrollada por Océano Alfa, para promover y difundir la labor de las Reservas Marinas Pesqueras, el conocimiento de la pesca artesanal como fundamento de su creación y fomentar la práctica del buceo seguro y responsable.

El proyecto está cofinanciado por la Fundación Biodiversidad del Ministerio de Agricultura, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente (MAGRAMA) y Fondo Europeo de Pesca (FEP), y cuenta con el apoyo de la Secretaría General de Pesca. El objetivo global de este proyecto es promover y fomentar la protección y conservación de los recursos pesqueros y naturales de dos reservas marinas: Cabo de Gata-Nijar y Cabo de Palos-Islas Hormigas.

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ADRIPLAN (ADRiatic Ionian maritime spatial PLANning) REGIONAL WORKSHOP FOR FOCUS AREA 2 June 10, 2014

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Corfu, Greece 27th of June 2014

Following the save-the-date we sent last week, we have the pleasure to send you further details about the ADRIPLAN regional Workshop on Focus Area 2  that will be held in Corfu on 27th of June 2014.

The ADRIPLAN project aims at delivering a commonly-agreed approach to cross-border Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) in the Adriatic-Ionian Macro-region, considered as a whole and more specifically through two Focus Areas (Focus Area 1: Northern Adriatic Sea and Focus Area 2:  Southern Adriatic / Northern Ionian Sea).

The workshop, organized in cooperation with Ionian Islands Region and Apulia Region, is aimed at presenting the ADRIPLAN Initial Assessment results, discuss needs and priorities of the MSP emerged from the report, involve the stakeholders in the process providing information and obtaining feedbacks and define cross-border conflicts and synergies at Focus Area level.

Please find attached the Agenda of the Workshop, and  the practical information on how to reach the venue and the list of hotels.

You will find all the information concerning the workshop including the background documents and the registration  in the ADRIPLAN website: http://adriplan.eu/

In order to better understand the perception of stakeholders about priorities and needs we have issued a questionnaire and we would appreciate if you can dedicated few minutes of your time contributing to this survey, available at the following address:


The results of the survey will be discussed during the workshop in Corfu.

Aplicación para teléfonos para el análisis de basuras en playas June 6, 2014

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La Asociación Vertidos Cero, con el apoyo de la Fundación Biodiversidad del Ministerio de Agricultura, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente (MAGRAMA) y KAI Marine Services, ha desarrollado en 2013 un protocolo para la caracterización y gestión de las basuras marinas en playas mediante el muestreo en puntos concretos de las costas españolas.

En la segunda fase del proyecto MARNOBA se ofrece al usuario la posibilidad de utilizar el protocolo a través de una aplicación móvil creada para Android y iOS. Los datos obtenidos a partir del formulario de objetos recogidos, caracterizados por categorías, se muestran en la sección RESULTADOS de esta página web.

El objetivo del proyecto es recopilar datos cuantitativos referentes a las basuras marinas, para poder evaluar propuestas orientadas a evitar la generación de las mismas y su llegada al mar.

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Cierre del proyecto INDEMARES April 22, 2014

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Casi 5 millones de hectáreas por explorar, diez socios y un presupuesto de 15,4 millones de euros. En 2009 este fue el punto de partida del proyecto LIFE+ INDEMARES, el mayor esfuerzo realizado hasta la fecha para mejorar el conocimiento y la protección de la extraordinaria riqueza marina española.

Tras 5 años de trabajo, el estudio de las 10 zonas incluidas en INDEMARES ha concluido, a fecha de hoy, con la propuesta como LIC de 3,1 millones de hectáreas (a falta de la propuesta de la zona Sur y Oriental de Fuerteventura y Lanzarote) y 4,9 millones de hectáreas como ZEPA. Una vez declaradas, la superficie marina protegida en España por la Red Natura 2000 alcanzará el 8%, acercándonos a la meta del 10% marcada por la Directiva Marco sobre Estrategia Marina de la UE y el Convenio de Biodiversidad para 2020.

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Curso de Experto Universitario en Herramientas SIG en web para la Gestión Integrada de Áreas Costeras, Planificación Espacial Marina y Participación Pública April 2, 2014

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El Curso de Experto y Master Universitario en TECNOLOGIAS SIG E INTERNET  PARA LA ORDENACIÓN MARINA, GESTIÓN INTEGRADA DE COSTAS Y PARTICIPACIÓN PUBLICA surge por iniciativa de la Universidad Internacional de Andalucía (Sede Iberoamericana de la Rábida) en colaboración con la UNESCO-IOC, contando para su desarrollo con profesores de los Departamentos de Geografía de la Universidad de Sevilla (especialistas en tecnologías SIG/Internet y Ordenación Marina) y de la Universidad de Cádiz (especialistas en Gestión Integrada de Costas/participación pública).

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Environment, Climate Change and Security in the Southern Mediterranean March 31, 2014

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This report contributes to the conclusion of three-year project on climate change and security in the OSCE region by providing a literature and scenario review of the potential security implications of climate change in the Southern Mediterranean region, focussing particularly on Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Based on this analysis five strategic reflections for the EEA and OSCE are drawn.

ADAPT-MED research project is launched! March 13, 2014

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adaptmed copyADAPT-MED is a European research project which accompanies local decision-makers in elaborating adaptation strategies to climate and global change in a context of uncertainty, coastal risks, endangerment of ecosystems, as well as urban and water management issues. Partners from France (ACTeon and BRGM), Greece (University of Athens) and Portugal (ISCTE-Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, University of Aveiro-CESAM) will work in three distinct research sites on how knowledge affects perceptions on climate change and how perceptions affect decision-making at all levels (economic, social, environmental policies) when dealing with climate change. It is innovative in the sense that it joins psychological, socio-economic, political science and scientific (geographic, geomorphologic and marine biologic) skills in one project. The project was launched in December 2013 and will last 24 months.

Is current decision making “adapted to internalize adaptation” into policy making?
Launched within Circle-2 research program on “Water and Adaptation to Climate Change from a natural and social science perspective in coastal Mediterranean areas”, ADAPT-MED questions whether current decision making is “adapted to internalize adaptation” into policy making in a context of ongoing climate change and emerging societal challenges linked to water resources and ecosystem services’ protection. While a) climate change impacts assessments on coastal zones have been made, and b) generic methods to inform decision makers in a context of uncertainty exist, these have rarely been a) connected to decision making on adaption strategies, often because of the uncertainties associated to climate change impacts and b) set up at regional and local scales.

Project Outline
To address the question raised above, ADAPT-MED will first collect and build a knowledge database for well-selected regional research sites, namely: the territory around the Ria de Aveiro coastal lagoon in Portugal, the region “Provences-Alpes-Côte d’Azur” in France and the Eastern coast of Crete (Greece). All these coastal regions have been affected by increased urbanization in the last century, and will be diversely affected by the adverse effects of climate change on water resources, aquatic ecosystems and urban infrastructure.
In particular, ADAPT-MED will investigate:

1)    How adaptation is currently being practiced in these regions and how this relates to other regulatory mechanisms on land use planning and risk prevention.
2)    What adaptation measures would be desirable and how can they be mainstreamed/integrated within current policy, decision making and regulatory mechanisms.
3)    How changes in understanding, perception and values can result in changes in climate change adaptation decisions.
In the context of its launching, ADAPT-MED will soon have its own website (http://circle-2.wix.com/adapt-med, under development) where information regarding outreach activities (participation to seminars, symposia, deliverables, etc.), case studies and partners’ presentation, etc. will be published on a regular basis. The study’s presentation note is already available here.

Coastal fringe in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (France). Photo Credit: Alexis Stepanian, BRGM

Coastal fringe in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (France). Photo Credit: Alexis
Stepanian, BRGM

For more information, please visit the project website

Microplastics ‘pose toxic threat to marine biodiversity’ December 4, 2013

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An estimated 150 million tonnes of plastic is “lost” each year

Source: BBC

Tiny particles of waste plastic that are ingested by shoreline “eco-engineer” worms may be negatively affecting biodiversity, a study says.

So-called microplastics may be able to transfer toxic pollutants and chemicals into the guts of lugworms, reducing the animals’ functions.

An estimated 150 million tonnes vanishes from the global waste-stream each year.

The findings have been published in the academic journal Current Biology.

“We are losing a large volume of plastic and we know it is going into the environment and the assumption being made by policymakers is that this material is non-hazardous, it has got the same ranking as scraps of food,” explained co-author Mark Browne, an ecologist from the US-based National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis.

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