Greek and Turkish NGOs and Municipalities Call for Joint Action on Coastal Management in the Mediterranean

February 25, 2014

Representatives from Greece and Turkey participating at the EU-funded Mare Nostrum Project partners’ meeting vow to cooperate to improve ICZM cooperation

ALEXANDROUPOLIS, Greece, February 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ –

Representatives of local authorities and NGOs from Greece and Turkey called for
cross-border cooperation on Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) and other urban and
environmental issues common to both sides.

The EU-funded Mare Nostrum Project [http://marenostrumproject.eu ] partners’ meeting
in Alexandroupolis, which took place February 18-22, 2014, brought together
representatives of local authorities, NGOs and universities from Greece and Turkey.
Participants expressed their desire to improve cooperation at the local and regional

“We have the same objectives and the same problems,” said Ozdemir Sonmez, senior
planner at the Istanbul Metropolitan Planning Center. “You can come to us to learn from
what we are doing and we can learn from your experience.”

“There is already small-scale cooperation in preventing floods with Bulgaria and
Turkey which could be expanded to other areas, including coastal management,” said Kostas
Portokalidis, urban planner at the municipality of Alexandroupolis. “Local authorities are
close to the problems and it could help us a lot if we could join forces.”

“Our goals and problems are the same and I believe that this is a good opportunity to
put the problems on the table so they can be discussed and solved,” Portokalidis added.

“Issues such as sea level rise, coastal and cliff erosion and water pollution from the
Evros River threaten both sides,” said Prof. Rachelle Alterman from The Technion in
Israel, initiator and head of the Mare Nostrum Project. “Local authorities don’t need to
wait for the central governments to take steps and can start collaborating with their
counterparts on the other side of the river.”

Prof. Alterman added that she hoped that other cross-border joint initiatives between
other neighboring countries along the Mediterranean coastline would take similar steps.

About Mare Nostrum

Mare Nostrum is an EU-funded project which aims to explore new ways of protecting and
managing the Mediterranean coastline within the existing ICZM Mediterranean framework.

The project focuses on understanding the “implementation gap” between the Barcelona
Convention’s high expectations and realities on the ground, and on new legal and
institutional tools to improve local practices from the “bottom-up,” one level at a time.

For further information, visit http://www.marenostrumproject.eu. For news and
updates, follow us on Twitter [https://twitter.com/marenosproj ] and Facebook
[https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mare-Nostrum-Project/531737076847904 ].

        Dan Gerstenfeld

SOURCE Mare Nostrum

Source: PR Newswire

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