NECSTouR was invited by ACR+ to represent the Interreg MED Sustainable Tourism community at Blue Islands final event. The project transformed what was supposed to be a conference in a webinar. Hosted by Greek MEP Maria Spyraki, the event was aiming to find solutions for "minimizing the hidden costs of tourism in MED islands" through "waste prevention actions and circular economy perspectives".
Cristina Nunez, director of NECSTouR, was present on behalf the Interreg MED Sustainable Tourism community. NECSTouR as responsible partner for capitalisation in the Horizontal Project will indeed capitalised on the main achievements of the Blue islands project.
The BLUEISLANDS project's goal is to identify, address and mitigate the effects of the seasonal variation of waste generation on Mediterranean islands as an effect of tourism, and establish the necessary conditions to fuel local loops of circular economy. It's one of the 22 modular projects supervised by the Horizontal Project on Sustainable Tourism.
The growing attention to the potential of sustainable tourism as a lever to promote circular economy is at the basis of the Blue islands project. During the webinar, Francesco Lembo from ACR+ shared Blue Islands key solutions for a better waste management in Mediterranean islands:
- Importance of Data collection
- Community engagement
- Targeted awareness campaigns to tourists
- Smaller waste management plants is the solution for less marine litter
Calling the European Tourism Sector for a Behavioural Change Towards Sustainability
“We should look at tourism through the lens of sustainability“ introduced MEP Maria Spyraki, co-chair of the European Parliament intergroup on "Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development" and host of this webinar.
In synergy with the main message of the webinar, NECSTouR called the European tourism sector for a behavioural change towards sustainability. Cristina Nunez showcased NECSTouR knowledge hub of regional responses to COVID-19 and the advocacy effort to work with the EU institutions towards a EU Tourism recovery plan. NECSTouR's actions were saluted by the host Maria Spyraki.
Other notable speakers included Jeremy Sampson from the Travel Foundation who talked about the invisible burden of tourism and MEP Catherine Chabaud, who introduced her fight against pollution in regional ecosystems. Refer to the program here.
You can rewatch the full webinar here (after registration)