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Network for the Protection of the Mediterranean from Marine Litter’, an event organized by Legambianti and the University of Siena

Tuesday 28 June, online event within the United Nations Ocean Conference

Oceans and seas are often considered a source of unlimited raw materials capable of supporting industrial growth, but also the uncontrolled production of any kind of waste.

But in recent years, in particular, plastic has become a major and growing threat to the marine environment, with its deadly effects on marine species and potential threats to human health.

“Science and Knowledge: A Network for the Protection of the Mediterranean from Marine Litter” is the title of the online meeting, which will take place on Tuesday 28 June at 10:30, and is promoted by Legambianti and the University of Siena, with the support of the Unione for the whole of the Mediterranean and InterregMed and ENI CBC, during which speakers will not only pass on information to improve awareness of the marine litter phenomenon, but will have the opportunity to discuss the possibility of implementing new tools and activities integrating science and awareness campaigns. A new participatory approach involving stakeholders and communities.

This initiative was held on the occasion of the Second United Nations Conference on Oceans, which will take place from 27 June to 1 July in Lisbon, Portugal.

The University of Siena renews its commitment to the protection of the marine ecosystem by presenting the Plastic Buster CAP Project that inherited ten years of work on the topic of marine litter, beginning with Plastic Buster, elected in 2012, Project Faro of the Network’s Mediterranean Regional Center United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions (UN SDSN). The objective of the project is to guide Mediterranean countries to share methodologies and techniques for sea health monitoring activities and to share joint actions to mitigate the negative effects of the presence of waste in the sea.

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The online meeting will be attended by: Giorgio Zampetti, General Director of Legambiente Onlus and Professor Maria Cristina Fauci of the University of Siena.

Scientists will participate in the event including: Sigi Gruber, EU; Eleni Hatziyanni, D.G. MARE; Alessandra Sensi, Union for the Mediterranean; Vincent Erno, ENI CBC Med Program/Interreg NEXT MED, Francesca Mercato, InterregMed, Maria Cristina Fauci of the University of Siena, Buster CAP Plastics Project Project Director and Sanaa Ben Ismail, INSTM.

Traps, injuring or ingested by aquatic organisms, provide the transition to alien species to access environments that are alien to their original habitat, but the biggest problem is that the plastic doesn’t go away. They remain for decades in the environment and break up into smaller and smaller pieces, which are impossible to remove and identify: microplastics (fragments smaller than 5 mm), which have an easier way to enter the food chain and contaminate them.

For this reason, tackling the problem of marine litter in the Mediterranean has been one of the most complex challenges in recent years. Due to the nature of marine environments, and not isolated from the surrounding context, problems related to the sea can only be addressed at the community level and through an integrated multi-institutional approach, where different political actors and civil society can work together and in a coordinated manner.

Information about the event, which will also be broadcast online on Legambiente channels, is published at the address www.unisi.it/unisilife/eventi/scienza-conoscenza-rete-tutela-mediterraneo