BLUEISLANDS: 1 Year of Implementation

Reaching almost 1 year of implementation, the BLUEISLANDS project has already implemented a series of activities.

The Interreg MED BLUEISLANDS project is heading to the end of the 1st year of implementation. Project partners cooperate with a common objective - to develop effective ways for mitigating the adverse effects (environmental and socioeconomic) stemming from the significant variation in waste generation observed in MED islands over the tourist season. The first studying phase of the project is focused on measuring the correlation of tourism and waste generation quantification and analysis of waste, assessment of its composition, and the impact of marine litter in beaches, seawaters and coasts relevant to micro plastics, and the influence of waste water during the high season tourist peak through short-term macroalgae deployments. Also the creation of relevant action plans of each one of the 9 islands following their unique social, economic and environmental characteristics so that the waste generated will serve as a resource bank which will be used to fuel local circular economies while preserving and encouraging sustainable tourism.

Currently, surveys and sampling collection are taking place in all partner areas, and through the analysis of collected items the aim is to define waste seasonal variation in measurable and comparable quantities and quality.

The Department of Environment of the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment of the Republic of Cyprus, the Lead Partner of the BLUEISLANDS project is applying these series of activities in Cyprus on national level. Among the several activities that have been implemented so far the most important are:

a) Micro plastic and sand samples were collected and sent to UAB for further analysis on a monthly basis. Surveys were conducted on 3 selected beaches;

b) Investigation of the quality of coastal seawater through short-term macroalgae deployments (before, during and after the high season touristic pick);

c) Organization of local Open Day and events;

d) Representation of the project in international events organized by the Programme;

e) Presentation of the project in events organized by other similar projects.