• Tuesday 13, Sep 2022

Saving Our Sea: A collective edition of students' essays, published by BSEC PERMIS and ICBSS for BLACK SEA React!

The Black Sea React! – Pilot innovative solutions for fighting marine litter in the Black Sea research project aims to contribute to the regional dialogue on mitigating and effectively tackling marine pollution and marine litter, while at the same time seeking innovative solutions to salient problems. The project is co-funded by the European Commission under Grant Contract ENI/2020/421-957, coordinated by the BSEC PERMIS.

The project’s activities pilot an innovative circular economy solution to marine (plastic) litter by involving local fishermen and a coastal municipality from the Black Sea region. In parallel, it develops a strong and positive narrative on marine litter prevention targeting specifically young people. Provided the pilot is successful, the proposed activity will ultimately strive to promote a follow-up joint action involving various coastal municipalities from BSEC Member States to tackle marine litter. The target group involves municipalities from the Black Sea littoral countries, fishing communities from Sariyer Municipality of Istanbul (Türkiye) and young people and primary school students from all littoral countries.

It runs under the coordination of the Permanent International Secretariat of BSEC (BSEC PERMIS) in cooperation with the International Centre for Black Sea Studies (ICBSS), the GAMA Recycle A.S. and the Municipality of Sariyer. The USA Consulate in Istanbul is Associated Partner.

Within the framework of the Black Sea React! project, the Regional Essay Competition for the Youth “Saving our Sea: new ways to reduce marine pollution in the Black Sea”, a BSEC PERMIS and ICBSS initiative, was launched in the period May-September 2021. It aimed to raise awareness and motivate young people in the BSEC Member States to take action against the growing marine pollution challenge in the Black Sea.

The present collective edition includes the top ten essays of the Regional Essay Competition for the Youth. The essays were submitted by high-school students aged 15 to 18 years, citizens of the 13 BSEC Member States and addressed one or several questions, as follows: (a) How can you help tackle marine litter in the Black Sea region? Share your ideas and/or experiences!; (b) Why is marine litter prevention important?; (c) What do you think is standing in the way of a clean Black Sea?; (d) Have you ever participated in public or youth initiatives to collect marine litter? What would motivate you to do so?

On the occasion of the 30th Anniversary of the BSEC Organisation, the present edition aspires to foster a culture of eco-friendly behaviour and environmental consciousness in younger age groups, as well as to motivate the wider society to learn from its youngsters in adopting sustainable practices for reducing marine litter and marine pollution.

Special thanks go to the supporting team: Ms. Rositsa Stoeva, Ms. Georgia Chantzi, Ms. Ipek Hokkaci, Ms. Evgenia Logiotatou and Ms. Athina Korovesi, for their valuable support provided throughout the entire process.