Throughout generations, the whole world, including Mediterranean countries, has taken pride in its beauty, but only what is preserved will live on.
We take for granted the vastness and beauty of the blue salty waters, but the day has come when we have to take a stand. They might seem like big words, but knowing where to throw your trash counts as a major step.
Rotary International has been evolving over the years, holding on to fundamental concepts of service and fellowship, but developing the methodologies to what each era needs. Most people who have previously heard about Rotary mostly likely know about its extensive work in the 6 areas of focus. After decades, it was the most sensible move to add the 7th area which is supporting the environment.
Although the environment has been a concern since the beginning of the new millennium, this addition of a new area of focus has sparked initiatives through youthful Rotaractors all over the world. Rotaract Mediterranean has conducted a research which showcased the following: “According to a study by the French Institute for Sea Research and Exploration (Ifremer), the Mediterranean Sea is the most polluted European sea. Two hundred thousand tons of plastic is dumped each year, representing more than 60 percent of all the trash we find at the bottom of the sea.
According to the report, the amount of marine waste has been steadily increasing. The Mediterranean holds only 1 percent of the world’s waters and 7 percent of global micro plastics.”
Initiatives have been steaming across the Mediterranean to curb this horrifying increase in pollution. Rotaract Mediterranean launched its #CleanShores Challenge as part of a Med Nature project. It was a dazzling success with the participation of countries with marvellous beaches around the globe including Egypt, Turkey, Tunisia, Italy, Morocco, Slovenia, and Greece. All of whom jumped at the opportunity to raise awareness in order to salvage what is left of marine life and beauty on the Mediterranean shore.
Another project is “Green-Act” initiated by Rotaract Club of Alexandria Cosmopolitan in Egypt, an umbrella inclusive of various micro-projects: most recently conducting a beach clean-up that collected 165 kilograms of plastic within three hours. Awareness sessions are being held within the initiative by community partners specialized in waste reduction.
Not only does an environmental initiative have an immediate effect on the waste collected, but it also raises awareness on what our waste habits are doing to the Mediterranean Sea. It will eventually tip the moral compass of any human being towards being more environmentally responsible.
Last year during our med initiatives such as #RotaractFIllTheBottle #WCUD and #WeLoveTheSea, more than 50 clubs from all around the world participated in these challenges. It was an incredibly fruitful project as Rotaractors contributed to creating a cleaner, safer environment worldwide. This year, we are hoping to reach more people and hopefully make more impact. Let’s beat the record!
Start with you, start saving the Mediterranean today! You can still join the Med’s #CleanShores Challenge! Collect trash and place bins all over the Mediterranean Shores, take pictures in action with before and after pictures, post the pictures and tag @RotaractMediterranean #CleanShores
BY Salma El-Assal