28 organizations and entities create the “Network of Cooperation for the Marine Environment” and invite us to become part of the solution
A protective “net” for the marine environment was created by 28 environmental organizations, foundations and other entities, who announced the creation of the “Network of Cooperation for the Marine Environment” and the new campaign for the reduction of single-use plastics, an initiative of the Athanasios C. Laskaridis Charitable Foundation.
During a press release that took place on Tuesday 20 November in Athens, representatives of the Network’s members presented the vision, activities and new communication campaign of the newly founded Network, aiming at motivating the public on marine environmental protection.
The main aims of the “Network of Cooperation for the Marine Environment” are to incorporate environmental protection issues in the public agenda, to increase the public’s level of knowledge and to achieve more effective interventions through the multiplying impact of its members.
With the motto “I can do without plastics”, the new campaign of the “Network of Cooperation for the Marine Environment” encourages us to review the way in which we use single-use plastics in our daily lives and to adopt a more environmentally-friendly conduct.
During the Press Conference, which was coordinated by journalist Ms Katerina Christiofilidou, representatives of the Network made the following statements:
“For a complex and multifaceted problem, such as marine pollution, there is no single solution. There are many solutions at different levels. We need sensitized citizens, enhanced education and a change of mentality, as well changes in the legislative framework, the cooperation of the industry and penalties. The “Network of Cooperation for the Marine Environment” provides answers to all these needs and the Athanasios C. Laskaridis Charitable Foundation gladly welcomes the realization of one of its major aims”, stated Dr Angeliki Kosmopoulou, Executive Director of the Athanasios C. Laskaridis Charitable Foundation.
Ms Christina Kontaxi, Director of the MEDITERRANEAN SOS Network, mentioned: «The A.C. Laskaridis Charitable Foundation, with a clear aim and an open approach, is materializing the network of many different entities engaged in marine environmental protection. The MEDITERRANEAN SOS Network, with consistent action on marine environmental issues for decades, could not be absent from the “Network of Cooperation for the Marine Environment”. The past one year already shows the power of our joint synergy and we wish all the best in the future with even more entities-members.“
Mr Costas Triantafillou, Assistant Executive Coordinator of HELMEPA, stated: “The diachronic message of HELMEPA’s Seagull “No Garbage, No Plastics in Seas and on Beaches” has constituted a warning for more than 30 years on the dangers of plastic pollution. Nowadays, when plastic pollution of seas and beaches has reached alarming levels worldwide, there is an immediate need to inform and motivate all towards addressing the problem, so that we can hand over a healthy marine environment to the next generations. In this context, HELMEPA actively participates in the Network of Cooperation for the Marine Environment by coordinating beach cleanup activities and the recording of marine litter uniformly, which will contribute towards monitoring the environmental status of our seas and beaches in accordance with the EU’s Marine Strategy Framework Directive 2008/56/EC “.
Professor George Papatheodorou of Patras University and Director of the Laboratory for Marine Geology and Physical Oceanography, referred to two issues of concern that could form the basis for future action by the Network. The first issue has to do with the effectiveness of public awareness campaigns and to what extent these have a positive impact on the marine environment. He mentioned that the scientific monitoring of the marine environment on the island of Syros, in the framework of the LIFE DEBAG project, showed a decrease in the presence of plastic bags as a result of the campaign. The second issue he touched upon was the need for systematic scientific data to design policies for the protection of the marine environment.
Closing, Ms Ploebe Koundouri, Professor of the Economics University of Athens, Director of Climate KIC GREECE and Co-Chair of UN SDSN GREECE, spoke about the significance of both these entities for the Network’s activities concerning the Blue Economy. She stated that UN SDSN and Climate KIC will contribute decisively to the Sustainable and Integrated Management of Marine Resources and will make good use of the power of the newly-founded Network to promote Blue Growth: “These two entities aim at communicating the innovative and interdisciplinary results of the scientific and research communities to the business and political world, as well as to the civil society, in order to expedite their introduction and application in the economy, which will help in the quest for sustainable development as described in Goal 14 of the 20130 Agenda and the Blue Growth initiative of the European Union.”
Members of the Network are:
- Athanasios C. Laskaridis Charitable Foundation
- Thalassa Foundation
- Lamprakis Foundation
- Captain Vassilis and Karmen Constantakopoulos Foundation
- Patras University
- Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, Oceanography Institute
- Hellenic Marine Environment protection Association – HELMEPA
- MEDITERRANEAN INFORMATION OFFICE FOR ENVIRONMENT, CULTURE AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (MIO-ECSDE)
- Elliniki Etairia – Society for the Environment and Cultural Heritage
- MEDITERRANEAN SOS Network
- Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature
- EIT Climate-KIC Hub Greece (under the auspices of the ATHINA Recearch Centre ΑΘΗΝΑ)
- NETWORK for Reform in Greece and Europe
- TEAM FOR THE WORLD
- Let’s Do It! Greece
- The People’s Trust
- Aegean Rebreath
- Second Nature
- DESMOS non-profit foundation
- Municiaplity of Poros
- Sea Through
- UN Environment / Mediterranean Action Plan Coordinating Unit (UNEP/MAP, MED POL)