Ends MARPOCS reinforcing cross-border strategies against marine pollution

This week was the closure of MARPOCS, a project co-financed by the European Union within the framework of the DG-ECHO “Civil protection mechanism”, which main aim is to reinforce cross-border strategies to tackle marine pollution by harmful and potentially dangerous substances (SNP) and, in particular, by hydrocarbons and chemical discharges.

MARPOCS, which began in January 2016, promoted a common operational framework, with cutting-edge tools for model-based decision-making, and exercises for SNP and hydrocarbon spills, adapted to the region and supported by the cooperation in the region and the training of local, regional and international authorities.

Photo taken at the facilities of PLOCAN (Taliat), where the final meeting of the MARPOCS project was held during the 13th and 14th of December.

Among the activities carried out in the framework of this project, we stress on the following:

 * The definition of operative and tactical detection systems based on models, supported by a system of modeling crude oil spills and harmful and dangerous substances using new and improved systems of high resolution meteorological and oceanic prediction.

* Automatic prediction of spill behavior detected by automatic maritime surveillance Services (detection of oil spills by satellite).

* Training sessions, courses and practical demonstrations, with special emphasis on emergency preparedness or response scenarios involving several nations.

* Multidisciplinary evaluation of the typical and dynamic coastal risk in the area of interest, the effect of identifying “hot spots”, improve the management of response resources and allow real-time monitoring of the coast.

All these acctiones are part of a common strategy for mutual assistance and multinational preparation, reinforcing the responsiveness to epidosios accidental contamination. Continue reading “Ends MARPOCS reinforcing cross-border strategies against marine pollution”

EcoTour: joint work day and next steps

On Thursday 14th December a working day took place between the partners of the EcoTour project.  We gathered at the Centre for Information and Communication Technologies for Tourism Innovation (CDTIC Tourism Innovation), a plenary meeting was held with the participation of representatives of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC, in particular with the research groups of Integrative biology and biological resources -BIRB- and Technologies, management and environmental geochemistry -TGBA-), the Technological Institute of the Canary Islands (ITC-Agua), the network of work for the management Sustainable marine resources of the West African eco-region (AFRIMAR), the National Directorate of Environment of the Ministry of Agriculture and Environment of Mauritania, the Regional Tourism Association of the Azores (ART), the Mauritanian Tourism Federation (FT) and the Regional Partnership for Marine and Coastal Conservation in West Africa (PRCM), in addition to participation in coordination by the Cabildo of Gran Canaria (and especially the biosphere Reserve) and the Marine Science Technology Centre (CETECIMA ).

Work day of the EcoTour project. Thursday, December 14th, 2017

This plenary meeting analyzed the state of execution of the project, validating the completed documents and revising the methodologies for the next tasks to be developed by each of the partner entities. The definition of the concept of ecotourism was one of the points to continue working, being necessary to determine the indicators that represent in the different fields (economic, social and environmental) and the limitations so that an activity is considered such. In the meantime, research work has begun in each of the study areas, with the preliminary results of what will form the “Basic Information”: Analysis of the natural potential, historical and cultural value of the zones, map of uses and activities, list of companies operating in each area, etc. With this information, the next steps lead to the evaluation of the compatibility of the uses and the load capacity and acceptable limit of change for the case studies.

Work Day programme
Inauguration of the day by the adviser of the Environment, security and emergencies of the Cabildo of Gran Canaria (Miguel Ángel Rodríguez) and the Director of the Center of Marine Sciences-CETECIMA-(José Luis Guersi)

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Art as a (fun!) way to make the Marine Debris problem visible

The international project G-Cubes, captained by the swiss artist Harald Reichenbach, made a stopover in Las Palmas of Gran Canaria last October with the objective of, in the context of his peculiar round the world, collect marine debris and turn it into pieces of art of economic value as a way of raising awareness of the global issue of marine pollution by our debris. Marine Debris will be then something to talk about in the art galleries, as a global environmental problem that does not recognize borders, neither by sea, nor by land.

Harald Reichenbach, aware of the seriousness of the problem that the marine debris poses, began on September 21 a voyage around the world on board the O’Deline sailboat. During the next 17 months, and covering more than 30,000 nautical miles, it has been set as a mission to collect garbage from hundreds of beaches and coasts in order to transform it into unique artistic pieces: the G-cubes.

The final destination of these pieces, in the form of cubes, will be an exhibition of more than 1,000 G-cubes (G – for garbage), each of them georeferenced, a reflection of the marine rubbish that threaten the oceans around the world.

We were lucky to see a subsample of this final piece of art in the form of several G-Cubes that the pupils from the Primary School Sta Catalina have developed during Haralds’ visit. This way, and thanks to the collaboration of the environmentalist NGO Ecologist in Action, this research groups and the  MICROTROPHIC project, some results of the scientific community were presented in the final event in Las Palmas regarding marine pollution due to marine waste, with special emphasis on microplastics.