The Fourth and Final CoCoNet General Assembly was held in Università del Salento, Edificio Sperimentale Tabacchi, Lecce, on 1-2 December 2015.
Inter-annual and seasonal variability in the occurrence of floating¯o:debris in the Northern Ionian and Southern Adriatic Sea
Seasonal and inter-annual changes in the occurrence of floating anthropogenic (AMD) and natural (NMD) debris (>2 cm) were investigated during two visual surveys carried out in the Southern Adriatic and Northern Ionian Sea between May-June 2013 and March 2015. Despite a very similar geographic coverage and sampling effort (e.g. 328.8 km vs 300.5 km surveyed), three times more floating objects were sighted in 2015 and significant differences in the abundance and composition of floating debris were observed between the two surveys (Fig.1). Proportion of anthropogenic litter remained constant (80.1% vs 80.6% of all sighted items), even though less Styrofoam items were observed in 2015 (29.6% vs 11.8% of all litter items). Mean AMD and NMD densities increased four-fold in 2015 survey, going from 27.7± 29.0 AMD and 6.6±11.5 NMD items/km2 recorded in 2013 to 112.8±168.6 AMD and 26.5±28.0 NMD items/km2. Given that slightly lower average wind speed were recorded during the 2015 survey (10.5±7.0 kts vs 6.9±2.6 kts), such differences might be better explained, rather than by a detection bias, by other environmental drivers capable of affecting debris inputs to the basin, such as seasonal differences in rainfall rates and/or riverine discharge.
The International Black Sea Day was celebrated this year on 30 October at Taksim Point Hotel, İstanbul, Turkey.
A press meeting was organized by Prof. Bayram Öztürk, responsible for the outreach activities of CoCoNet, prior to the Black Sea Day. The journalists from Ukraine, Russia and Turkey attended this meeting. Prof. Öztürk made a presentation about the Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and the CoCoNet Project. In the Turkish coasts of the Black Sea, five potential MPAs were proposed by Prof.Öztürk, including the CoCoNet pilot project area in Şile. The journalists were especially interested in the important role of MPAs and five TV channels in Turkey broadcasted the interviews with Prof. Öztürk.
The International Black Sea Day was celebrated with more than 50 participants from all Black Sea riparian countries, namely Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine. There was a session of some international projects related to the Black Sea, such as CoCoNet, Perseus and DEVOTES. The short version of the CoCoNet documentary film was screened. At the end of the meeting, the local folk dance from the Turkish Black Sea coast was performed with the live music of ‘kemençe’. They were dressed in CoCoNet T-shirts during their performance. CoCoNet posters also were exhibited and CoCoNet T-shirts, mug cups and flash memories uploaded with CoCoNet documentary film “from hot spots to nets” were distributed during the meeting.
Coinciding with COP21, UNESCO is launching the UNESCO GREEN CITIZENS initiative which aims to highlight the work of people who, every day and all over the world, strive to raise awareness on sustainability and ensure that best practices are passed onto their respective communities.
The project includes:
- A travelling exhibition presenting eight emblematic projects in education for sustainable development: http://en.unesco.org/greencitizens/our_stories. After having been presented on the external fences of the UNESCO headquarters in October, the exhibition will also feature at the UNESCO space at Le Bourget during the Paris Conference on Climate this December, and will be in New York at UN HQ in late February/March 2016.
- An open online platform (in English and French) inviting educators from all corners of the globe to share their initiatives and projects in education for sustainable development: http://en.unesco.org/greencitizens/your-stories
We would be delighted if you could join this initiative and share your own initiatives, as well as disseminate this information to your networks and stakeholders.
The last workshop in the framework of CoCoNet was held at CNR ISMAR in Bologna during 26-28 October 2015 on "Classification scheme for habitat mapping (Biological layer) –Mediterranean and Black Sea". The CoCoNET project provides a new attempt in establishing an integrated approach on the definition of habitats. This scheme combines multi-scale geological and biological data, in fact it consists of three levels (Geomorphological level, Substrate level and Biological level) which in turn are divided into several hierarchical sublevels. This system allows to identify, describe and map in a consistent way habitat distribution from shallow coastal to deep sea. At this workshop, twelve experts participated to discuss the biological level for the shallow water in particular. For the report of the workshop, click here.