Environmental Education and Vocational Training
MarLitCy ‘Marine Litter for Synergies, Capacity-building and Peacebuilding’ building on the success of the MarLitCy (2014-2017), is a 36-month long, bi-communal project funded by the European Union, under the Civil Society in Action VI Programme.
MarLitCy aims to use the problem of marine litter as a tool for promoting dialogue and building closer relations between various unconventional target groups in Cyprus. This will be achieved through the implementation of activities that aim to raise awareness to key target groups and the general public about the issue of marine litter, and to promote the uptake of practices that aims to minimize the creation of marine litter across the island.
This project aims to enhance the role of civil society in active citizenship and decision making and to promote grassroots bi-communal collaboration, focusing on an environmental issue of European importance: marine litter. Marine litter is a powerful peace-building tool that has the potential to combat hatred and prejudices, while fostering cooperation among the two communities, providing a common win–win goal for all: keep our seas and coasts clean!
The project will contribute to the enhancement of the role of civil society in democracy, governance and peace building by using marine litter as a tool:
– To create an enabling environment to reduce marine litter
– To equip CSOs and other key stakeholders with the skills and tools to improve the marine environment
AKTI and the other project partners, Famagusta Walled City Association (MASDER), Enalia Physis Environmental Research Centre and Scuba Divers Association will focus their actions on the following target groups:
University students, children and youth are particularly important, since environmental awareness and consciousness are formed from an early age. The project will therefore encourage children and youth to become involved in voluntary activities, such as beach cleanups, promote active citizenship through the involvement of university students in the decision- making workshop, and support children and youth to express their views and opinions, share them with their peers and take action in identifying solutions through the joint competitions. The project places significant emphasis in creating opportunities for collaboration of children and youth across the divide, in a safe environment that will allow them to build group dynamics and work as a team, through the up- cycled competition, the field activities for university students and the joint final exhibition and event.
Coastal enterprises, the fishing industry and divers are directly exposed to the problem of marine litter. Marine litter can pose a threat to their business through the loss of tourism, loss of fish stocks, or risk to their customers. Project activities that involve the implementation of best practices, such as the “Responsible Coastal Businesses” campaign, the “Fishing for Litter” initiative and “Dive Against Debris”, have been developed with these target groups in mind. Not only will the involvement of coastal enterprises, fishermen and divers in these activities educate them, but it will also build capacity as they will learn new management tools and techniques and they will engage with their local community, other enterprises and university students, enhancing or even creating links between public-private sectors, youth and entrepreneurs.
Coastal local bodies will therefore have an important role to play in the implementation of these best practices and will thus become both project target groups and beneficiaries. The enhancement of collaboration between local bodies and coastal/marine entrepreneurs will lead to the mutual understanding of the issues faced and how to address them. Additionally, participation of local bodies in a workshop that will bring together key decision-makers and stakeholders to discuss the current problems and provide suggestions on the reform of relevant ‘legal text’ in the northern part of the island, to bring it in line with European Directives, will benefit local bodies both in terms of greater understanding and collaboration and in terms of cleaner and safer beaches/sea.
The activities of the project have been designed to meet the needs, capacity and expertise of each target group, and particularly the unconventional target groups such as coastal local bodies, coastal businesses and the fishing industry. Societal needs are coupled with environmental concerns, environmental education and entrepreneurial development, through an integrated set of activities that promote the benefits resulting from cooperation and synergies, while providing solutions and structures to support peace-building and reconciliation.
The proposed activities include:
1. The Responsible Coastal Businesses Campaign and associated Award scheme
2. The expansion of the Fishing for Litter initiative to more ports/harbors in Cyprus
3. A decision-making workshop in the northern part of Cyprus that will bring together local/central decision-makers and key stakeholders
4. Capacity building and educational activities targeting children, youth and university students, an extensive and innovative island-wide awareness campaign
5. Joint competitions and exhibitions on marine litter
The autonomous but inter-connected activities have been designed to engage these target groups in a way that develops synergies and networks.
AKTI participates as partner in the bi-communal project called ‘Go Social: Supporting Employability through Social Entrepreneurship’, August 2018.
AKTI is a partner in the ‘MALIA’ project, ERASMUS+ KA2.
Η ΑΚΤΗ Κέντρο Μελετών και Έρευνας, πραγματοποίησε και φέτος το καλοκαίρι 2019, την καθιερωμένη εκστρατεία καθαρισμού ακτών και βυθών, σε συνεργασία με τις Τοπικές Αρχές, καταδυτικών κέντρων, σχολείων αλλά και εθελοντών!
- Οι συγκεκριμένοι καθαρισμοί ακτής είναι στοχευμένοι: διεξάγονται σε ακτές τουριστικές ή/και που έχουν Γαλάζια Σημαία και στόχο έχουν να αναδείξουν το πρόβλημα με τα μικρά σκουπίδια που κρύβονται στην άμμο, αφού οι παραλίες καθαριστούν από την οικεία Τοπική Αρχή. Σημαντική είναι και η συμβολή ομάδων εθελοντών!
- Οι καθαρισμοί ακτών, γίνονται κάθε χρόνο στις ίδιες ακτές, με συγκεκριμένη μέθοδο, έτσι ώστε τα στοιχεία που συλλέγονται να μπορούν να είναι συγκρίσιμα, και να οδηγούν σε συμπεράσματα που βοηθούν την παγκόσμια έρευνα. Για την καταγραφή των απορριμμάτων και το διαχωρισμό στις πηγές χρησιμοποιείται το Διεθνές Πρωτόκολλο Ocean Conservancy. Τα δεδομένα εισάγονται στην διεθνή βάση δεδομένων του Διεθνούς Οργανισμού Ocean Conservancy, ώστε να αποτελέσουν υλικό για σύγκριση δεδομένων και μελλοντική έρευνα.
Τα αποτελέσματα από τους φετινούς καθαρισμούς (μέχρι σήμερα), ήταν τα εξής:
- 26 καθαρισμοί ακτής
- 4 καθαρισμοί βυθού
- 360 εθελοντές (ενήλικες)
- 667 εθελοντές (παιδιά)
- ΣΥΝΟΛΟ: 25.700 τεμάχια σκουπιδιών τα οποία ζύγιζαν πάνω από 1130 kg!
Πιο συγκεκριμένα, τα ποσοστά που αντιστοιχούν σε κάθε κατηγορία ανά τεμάχιο σκουπιδιών, ήταν τα εξής:
- Γόπες από τσιγάρα: 50%
- Πλαστικά: 34%
- Χάρτινα: 7%
- Μεταλλικά: 4%
- Άλλα (μεικτά): 3%
- Απόβλητα υγιεινής και ιατρικά απόβλητα: 1%
- Γυάλινα: 1%
Η εκστρατεία καθαρισμού ακτών και βυθών θα συνεχιστεί τον Σεπτέμβρη!
Ευχαριστούμε όλους όσους συμμετείχαν στην προσπάθεια μας αυτή να καθαρίσουμε τις ακτές και τους βυθούς μας και να προστατέψουμε τη θαλάσσια ζωή που απειλείται!
Όσο πιο πολλοί συνειδητοποιημένοι και ευαισθητοποιημένοι πολίτες, τόσο λιγότερα σκουπίδια στις θάλασσες και τις ακτές μας!
ΟΛΟΙ ΜΑΖΙ ΓΙΑ ΤΗΝ ΚΑΤΑΠΟΛΕΜΗΣΗ ΤΗΣ ΘΑΛΑΣΣΙΑΣ ΡΥΠΑΝΣΗΣ!
Project “Fighting plastic pollution in Cyprus: The Responsible Beach Bars Initiative” has been recognised as an innovative social initiative and therefore awarded by Beyond Plastic Med organisation (http://www.beyondplasticmed.org/).
This initiative aims to engage beach bars, snack shacks and beach restaurants (henceforth called beach bars), strewn around Cypriot beaches, to take ownership of ‘their’ stretch of beach in order to protect it and minimise the amount of marine litter, and especially plastic, left on it by their customers and in general beach goers.
The initiative, and particularly the outcomes of the Responsible Coastal Businesses award, was the focus of CYBC’s ‘Spiti sti Fisi’ (Home in Nature) show which aired in October 2018. You can see the entire broadcast (in Greek) below:
Timeline of Project Activities
The Initiative was launched on 28 June 2017 in Paphos, in the presence of His Excellency the Spanish Ambassador in Cyprus, Mr Angel Lossada, and the Mayor of Yeroskipou. The launch event included a beach cleanup with the participation of students from Paphos Technical School and other volunteers, as well as informational campaign to the beach bars of the area.
The highlights from the Launch Event are presented in this short video:
Project “Fighting plastic pollution in Cyprus: The Responsible Beach Bars Initiative” will achieve its aims through six interrelated activities, which are presented below.
(1) Organisation and implementation of a workshop bringing together stakeholders from around the island to record their opinions and views with regards to plastic waste, to identify the problems they face with regards to its management and to pinpoint easy to implement and effective solutions for its management.
Three workshops were organised within the framework of the project: one with the local authorities responsible for Blue Flag beaches in Cyprus, one in Paphos with key stakeholders and one in Nicosia with the collaboration of the Spanish, Italian and Portuguese embassies on the island.
(2) Development of a concise but comprehensive guide for beach bars outlining the practices that they can implement to minimise plastic waste;
(3) Awareness-raising campaign in the summer of 2017 targeting all beach bars on the island, where the Guide and a Decalogue of Good Practice will be disseminated.
The awareness-raising campaign involved visiting beach bars around the island, sharing information about marine litter and encouraging them to become members of the Responsible Beach Bars Network, by adhering to the Decalogue of Good Practice (Decalogo EN_F Decalogo GR_F).
(4) Launch a competition for sustainable practices implemented by beach bars around Cyprus.
The competition was launched in March 2018, in collaboration with the Pancyprian Association of Entertainment Venue Owners (PASIKA). The deadline for the competition was the 31 March 2018.
All the competition documents can be found here (in Greek):
(5) Organise an awards ceremony for the winning beach bars.
The Awards Ceremony, which took place on 24 April 2018 on board the vessel M/V DOREMI, was a great success. In addition to the awarded beach bars, attendees included the Mayor of Larnaca, Mr Andreas Vyras, His Excellency the Ambassador of Spain, Mr Angel Lossada, Her Excellency the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Ms Nathalie Jaarsma, representatives from the British High Commission and other distinguished guests, including representatives of the Cyprus Association of Recreation Venue Owners.
There was extensive coverage of the ceremony in local media (both online and print), including CYBC’s morning news broadcast (click here to view the broadcast clip).
AKTI developed the following highlights video of the award ceremony:
Beat the Microbead: A worldwide campaign to ban plastic microbeads
Beat the Microbead is an international campaign supported by AKTI Project and Research Centre along with numerous NGOs worldwide against microbeads used in cosmetics.
Microbeads and Pollution
Microbeads are tiny particles of plastic that have been added to possibly thousands of personal care products sold around the world. These microbeads, hardly visible to the naked eye, flow straight from the bathroom drain into the sewer system. Wastewater treatment plants are not designed to filter out microbeads and that is the main reason why ultimately, they contribute to the Plastic Soup swirling around the world’s oceans. Sea creatures absorb or eat microbeads. These microbeads are passed along the marine food chain. Since humans are ultimately at the top of this food chain, it is likely that we are also absorbing microbeads from the food we eat. Microbeads are not biodegradable and once they enter the marine environment, they are impossible to remove.
About the campaign
The campaign aims to prevent manufacturers and retailers from using and selling products containing microbeads, and asks governments to ban their use in cosmetics. It was launched in 2012 and it is currently supported by 86 NGOs from 37 countries and 446 brands from 117 different manufacturers. This positive response shows that more and more of these microbeads are being removed from personal care products and replaced by natural alternatives. It is still a far cry to say that all personal care products are free from plastic microbeads though.
In October 2013, an internationally functional, smartphone application and supporting online platform (www.beatthemicrobead.org) were launched to support the campaign. The Beat the Microbead app makes it easy to check whether a product contains plastic.
For more information, click here.
MarLitCy is a 28 month long project, funded by EuropeAid Programme.
The EU funded project ‘INTERACT’, focuses on social inclusion through environmental activities. Continue Reading
ARGONAFTIS is a 6 month in service training for young scientists in the field of environment!