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MED4EBM in Italy launches the “Mediterranean Forum for Integrated Ecosystem Management”

The launch event of the “Mediterranean Forum for Integrated Ecosystem Management,” under the framework of the MED4EBM project, opened this Thursday 12th May 2022 in Sibari, in the province of Cosenza (Calabria, Italy). The project, funded by the ENI CBC MED program, is being implemented in four countries from the Mediterranean and Red Seas: Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia, and Italy. 

Amici della Terra Onlus, a partner in the project, is promoting, starting from today, a two-day discussion with local stakeholders and actors on ecosystem-based management of coastal areas in the four targeted areas through participatory workshops and with the support of innovative technological tools. 

Opening the proceedings was President Monica Tommasi, who after thanking the institutions, stakeholders and international guests present, recalled the two main purposes of the “two days”. First, “to show the first results of the project’s target areas”, said Tommasi, explaining that “for our country, the area of interest is the Gulf of Corigliano (Cosenza); for Lebanon, the Natural Reserve of the Tyre Coast; for Jordan, the coastal area of the Gulf of Aqaba; and for Tunisia, the Kneiss Islands”. Secondly, the president added, “the objective of the event is to launch the ‘Mediterranean Forum for Integrated Ecosystem Management’ that will be based at the Nature Reserves of Lake Tarsia and the Mouth of the Crati River, in the province of Cosenza. The hope is that the Forum can take root, becoming a permanent tool of the territory”, Monica Tommasi concluded. 

Afterwards institutional greetings from: the mayor of the Municipality of Cassano allo Ionio, Giovanni Papasso; the Director of the Regional Nature Reserves Lago di Tarsia and Foce del fiume Crati, Agostino Brusco; and the Director General of Arpa Calabria and President of the Pollino National Park, Domenico Pappaterra

Mayor Papasso, after welcoming all those present and mentioning the beauty of the “Sibaritide” praised the mission of the MED4EBM project; while Agostino Brusco, opening his speech, recalled how the Nature Reserves of Lake Tarsia and the Mouth of the Crati River were established by the Region of Calabria in 1990, precisely at the suggestion of Amici della Terra association. Brusco then described the “extraordinary biodiversity that is manifested in these places”.

Domenico Pappaterra explained that “Arpa Calabria pays great attention to the MED4EBM project, to put in place strong monitoring actions and strong data dissemination actions. The director added “the hope is that through this project an effective collaboration with the Amici della Terra Onlus Association can be born”. 

The next session was dedicated to the MED4EBM project and its partnership. Coordinated by Tommaso Franci, member of the Association’s National Executive Board, speakers included Irene Morell Rodriguez, senior expert on the environment and climate change (Joint Technical Secretariat ENI CBC Med Program); Maria Luisa Losavio, National Governance ENI CBC Med Program (Apulia Region); and Rana Saleh, Deputy Head of Climate Change and DRR (UNDP Jordan).

The morning of the first day of the Forum ended with the session dedicated to the presentation of experiences of EBM (Ecosystem-Based Management) applications, coordinated by Manrico Benelli, EBM team MED4EBM project for Amici della Terra Onlus. First to speak was Luigi Enrico Cipriani, Soil Defense and Civil Protection Directorate, Water, Territory and Coastal Protection Sector of the Tuscany Region, who elaborated on the application of integrated coastal zone management in his region. Then, Giuliano Trentini, vice-president of the Italian Center for River Restoration and Marco Falcetta, methodological coordinator EBM Project MED4EBM – PROGES. 

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