LIVORNO – The Final Conference of the project has taken place, an event that marked a significant step towards the future of maritime environmental policies at European and international level.
The very specific theme of the project saw the participation of experts from all over the Mediterranean at the Conference: from the French secretariat for the sea, to the parliament and the European Commission, from the project partners to the interested stakeholders, from the academic to the scientific world, from research foundations to organizations dedicated to marine protection, from local authorities to those of ports.
In the afternoon, an interesting round Table was held on the “green” transition of ports and saw the participation of experts from Egypt, Turkey and Algeria, with specific reports from the Italian and Turkish Coast Guards.
The Conference was opened by the President of the Northern Tyrrhenian Sea Port Network Authority Luciano Guerrieri with a welcome speech that highlighted the importance of LIFE4MEDECA in supporting the ecological transition in ports and maritime transport through the creation of a low-emission area of air pollutants in the Mediterranean.
The President also underlined the key role that port management bodies play as facilitators and enablers in this process, involving stakeholders and European institutions to identify appropriate solutions. He also highlighted the pioneering role of the LIFE4MEDECA project and the important international collaboration which involved partners from across the Mediterranean basin.
During the event, the “heart” of the project was announced, namely the development of the Knowledge Centre, a knowledge hub that will contribute to the consolidation of information relating to the establishment of an ECA area and beyond. The Knowledge Center in fact represents the precious legacy that the project leaves for a concrete After LIFE Plan.
It was up to the Secretary General of the Port System Authority to draw the conclusions of the intense day of work, and he did so first and foremost by thanking all the institutions, the companies and institutes that made the success of the project possible, as well as the European Commission and the Member States that financed it.
And then proposing 3 areas of concrete action for the immediate future:
- from the Knowledge Center to the ECA4MED platform, highlighting the contribution that this initiative can make to the implementation of the Mediterranean SECA, to the perspective of the Mediterranean NECA, to strengthening the perspective of Atlantic ECAs, in collaboration with the “Mission Ocean and Waters Knowledge System” of the European Commission;
- the Green Hydrogen: HYPER Valley & Hub, through participation in the Clean Hydrogen Partnership of the Commission itself which is building the Roadmap for Green Hydrogen in Seaports and Coastal Areas;
- the Seaport Innovation & Testbed, with the structuring of innovators for solutions into communities: i) of green transition of ports and shipping; ii) of developing a sustainable blue economy. In particular through large-scale real-environment testing of solutions for the “autonomous ship” capable of significantly impacting the sustainability of the sector.
At the end of the Conference, the project coordinator, Francescalberto De Bari, announced the launch of a “Charter” for the European Commission’s Mission “Restore our Ocean and Waters by 2030”, which aims to achieve fundamental objectives for environmental protection:
- protect and restore the ecosystem and marine biodiversity
- prevent and eliminate pollution of the oceans and all seas
- make blue economy sustainable, carbon-free and circular.