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Coastal development pressures ‘major threat to Mediterranean coast’

Of the NGOs participating in the survey, 93% cited development pressures as the main risk to their own country’s coast. This was followed by overfishing (84%), tourism pressures (81%), increased litter (81%), chemical pollution (65%) and coastal erosion (63%). 

Staff Reporter
26 February 2015, 9:36am
Coastal development pressures are seen as the major threat to Mediterranean coastal zones, according to a survey conducted by the EU-funded Mare Nostrum Project among 43 environmental organisations in 11 countries. 

Of the NGOs participating in the survey, 93% cited development pressures as the main risk to their own country’s coast. This was followed by overfishing (84%), tourism pressures (81%), increased litter (81%), chemical pollution (65%) and coastal erosion (63%). 

“The ground-breaking survey wishes to identify what environmental organisations see as the major threats to Mediterranean coastal zones,” said Mare Nostrum project initiator and coordinator Prof. Rachelle Alterman from the Technion Israel Institute of Technology. “Clearly, uncontrolled development is a serious problem across the entire Mediterranean Basin.” 

The survey, carried out by Mare Nostrum partner The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI), is the first-ever organised effort to identify the main challenges and needs of civil society organisations with regard to the protection of the Mediterranean coast. Results were received from 43 organisations in Spain, France, Italy, Israel, Malta, Greece, Croatia, Albania, Cyprus, Slovenia and Monaco. 

The survey was conducted as part of the Mare Nostrum Network Initiative, intended to serve as a support platform for civil society organisations involved in ICZM (Integrated Coastal Zone Management) and conservation throughout the Mediterranean coast. 

“The results show that most organisations wish to join the Mare Nostrum Network and engage in collaborative actions,” said Andrea Monge, Mare Nostrum Network coordinator at SPNI.

“These organisations stressed the importance of going beyond information sharing and working on capacity building, particularly with regard to community involvement, communications and fundraising.” 

Mare Nostrum focuses on understanding the “implementation gap” between the ideals of the international Barcelona Convention and its Protocol on Integrated Coastline Zone Management (ICZM) and realities on the ground. It is one of the 95 projects funded by 2007-2013 ENPI CBC Mediterranean Sea Basin Programme.

The project is of three years’ duration and has a total budget of €4.3 million, of which 90% is financed by the programme.

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