The growth of tourism in the Mediterranean, especially in coastal areas, and the effects of climate change will continue to affect landscapes, soil and coasts stability/erosion, put pressure on species and water resources, and increase waste and pollution discharges into the sea.
In this context, the Co-Evolve4BG project aims at analysing and promoting the co-evolution of human activities and natural eco-systems in touristic coastal areas, towards sustainable development of tourist activities based on the principles of Integrated Coast Zone Management (ICZM) and Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP), promoting at the same time Blue Growth in the Mediterranean. The analysis and the demonstration actions foreseen by the project will enhance sustainable coastal and maritime tourism development fully exploiting the Blue Economy potential, promoting the creation of business and job opportunities in the field of ecosystem-oriented services, coastal and maritime tourism, coastal management and adaptation to climate change.
These actions to be carried out under the project are as follows:
- One integrated analysis of the threats and factors favouring sustainable tourism at Mediterranean level.
- One “toolkit” containing indicators to analyse the level of sustainability of tourism.
- Two training rounds addressed to the partners and local actors involved in the pilot actions.
- Seven pilot actions for the development of sustainable tourism in the pilot areas:
- Lebanon: The activities will take place in Tyre with competitive environmental and socio-economic objectives and will focus on the implementation of the Action Plans developed within activity 3 of the project to improve governance and facilitate the integration of ICZM principles into public action.
- Greece: The actions will take place in the coastal and marine area of Alexandroupoli and Samothraki and will focus on the collaboration of local stakeholders for the creation of plans/projects for the protection of the waterfront against erosion, the promotion of ecotourism, maritime tourism and the management of port sediments.
- Lebanon: The activities will take place in Batroun, in the ports of Al-Midan and MWPT and will work to develop tourism in Batroun and provide sustainability to fishermen through activities like: training of fishermen in sustainable fishing, development of the port sidewalk, opening of a training centre for the teaching of fishing and sports activities and improvement of the commercial market for fishermen.
- Tunisia: The actions will take place in the Gulf of Gabes, on the island of Djerba and will aim to provide plans for the development of sustainable tourism. Actions will be carried out on coastal risks, environmental enhancement and preservation of ecosystems. In addition, planning of sediment dynamics and reuse along the coasts of Aghir (southeast) and Sidi Hacheni (northeast) will be considered to protect the coastline from erosion.
- Spain: The pilot area is located in the north of the Region of Murcia. Tourism, fishing and agriculture are the dominant economic sectors. Commercial activities, but also historical mining activities, have increased pollution in this area due to the strong tourist attraction.
- Tunisia: The actions will be carried out in the region of Hergla-Monastir and will aim to provide plans that comply with the principles of the MSP-ICZM for the development of sustainable tourism. Actions will be carried out on coastal risks, environmental valorisation and preservation of ecosystems. In addition, a port sediment management plan will be considered to ensure safe navigation and a sediment reuse plan to nourish the coastline during erosion.
- Italy: Actions will be carried out in the Circeo National Park and Biosphere Reserve. The main impacts on natural systems to be addressed are: sand dune erosion, waste management, water pollution, ecosystem disturbance and agriculture.
Co-Evolve4BG is part of a larger project, “Med Coast for Blue Growth”, involving 43 countries of the Union for the Mediterranean.
The project involves nine Mediterranean partners:
- National Institute of Marine Sciences and technologies, Tunisia
- Region of Lazio, Italy
- Region of East Macedonia & Thrac, Greece
- University of Murcia, Spain
- Fundación Valenciaport, Spain
- National Agency for Environment Protection, Tunisia
- Ministry of Public Works and Public Transport, Lebanon
- Al Midan NGO, Lebanon
- AMWAJ of the Environmen, Lebanon