“Bahr Bala Plastic” project towards a plastic free Mediterranean Sea

Lebanese civil society and the European Union Delegation to Lebanon today launched a new environmental initiative tackling marine litter. The joint initiative is part of the “Bahr Bala Plastic” project, which aims at raising awareness about the dangers related to plastic and reducing its use. The “Bahr Bala Plastic” project is funded by the European Union and co-managed by the Lebanon Eco Movement and Lebanon Environment Forum. The initiative launched in Byblos will allow small non-profit and for-profit organizations to receive financial support for local initiatives aimed at combatting marine litter, its causes and effects, and fighting plastic pollution all along the Lebanese coast.

The event was attended by EU Ambassador Christina Lassen, Wissam Zaarour, Mayor of Byblos, Sami Assaf, Chairman of the Association of the Lebanese Industrialists – The Environment Committee, and members of the administrative bodies of the Lebanese Environment Forum and the Lebanese Environmental Movement.

In her speech, Ambassador Lassen reiterated the European Union’s commitment to protecting the environment. “In the coming months we will be strengthening our existing efforts and investing more than half a million euro for combatting marine litter and fighting plastic pollution, and we hope that many organisations will come up with innovative ideas to fight sea pollution”. “Lebanon has a beautiful nature, but we are worried because we see how the environment is degrading in all fields, and we hope the political will is there to stop that degradation”, she added.

Paul Abi Rashed, President of the Lebanon Eco Movement, addressed the global crisis of plastic waste and its negative impact on the environment and public health, especially in the seas and oceans. He stressed the dangers of plastics and microplastics to birds, marine organisms, and humans.

Malek Ghandour, Head of the Lebanese Environment Forum stated: “The time has come to treat our beaches as national nature reserves rather than waste dumps”. He underlined the dangers of plastic on water and public health. Concluding, Ghandour explained that the new project will help identify the critical spots along the coast, lobby and formulate legislation to protect them.

Call for Proposals to combat plastic pollution in the Mediterranean

“Bahr Bala Plastic” Project, implemented by the Lebanese Environment Forum and the Lebanese Eco Movement and funded of the European Union, launched the call for proposals for small projects that combat plastic pollution in the Mediterranean Sea in the following 3 lots/ thematic areas

Lot I: Tackling land-based sources of pollution

Lot II: Tackling sea-based source of pollution

Lot III: Tackling socio-economic impacts

Size of Grants is divided into:

– Large grants: between 20,000 and 60,000 Euros, with an initial planned duration not exceeding 9 months, and submission of application through a written application form.

– Small grants: between 1,000 and 19,999 Euros, with an initial planned duration, not exceeding 6 months, and submission of proposals through oral presentations (pitching sessions).

Deadline for proposals submission is 18 OCTOBER 2019 at 16:00

Information sessions on guidelines and how to apply will be held in several coastal regions.

Tyr: Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Tripoli: Thursday, August 22, 2019

Saida: Monday, August 26, 2019

Jbeil: Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Damour: Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Beirut: Thursday, August 29, 2019

Prior registration is compulsory and should be sent to the following email address:contact@bahrbalaplastic.org

The project Bahr Bala Plastic” aims at reducing discharges of waste thrown in the sea, preventing additional harming to the environment and mitigating the economic damage to activities such as tourism and fisheries by raising awareness about the danger of plastics, developing legislation to reduce its use and by providing financial and technical support for projects, between € 1,000 and € 60,000, that contribute in preserving the biodiversity of Lebanese coastal zones, while indirectly enhancing sustainable income-generating activities and tackling marine litter in Lebanon, with a special focus on single-use plastic products and microplastics, potential threat to both the environment and human health.

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