On the 28th of February and 1st of March 2013 GeoEcoMar, as partner in the project TEN ECOPORT, attended two important meetings in Bar, Montenegro foreseen by the project: the 2nd Project Steering Committee–PSC and the Benchmarking Seminar.
The project is a continuation of the previous Ecoport8, aiming to face the challenges raised by the complex interaction between ports activities and environmental issues. The project’s partners, among which representatives of nine ports from Italy, Montenegro, Croatia, Albania, Bulgaria, Greece and Romania, had a full agenda of constructive discussions, during which a strong linkage between scientific institutions and ports’ representatives was established.
During the Benchmark Seminar sessions, debating groups formed of ports authorities and researchers focused on specific environmental problems encountered by each port (water quality of port aquatorium, air quality and waste).
The participants had the occasion to make an exercise using the flow chart of EASW methodology, worked on the definition of the problems - actions - stakeholders to involve – results for the setting and then the elaboration of the future Action Plan. Moreover, this analytical scheme can be given as an example of useful tool for rapid recognition of problems, making decisions and generation of solutions.
This activity resulted in elaboration of “must - do” actions for project ongoing that has as main goal the involvement of the port operators in the process of finding the solutions to the problems falling in their responsibility field.
As for example, the Naval Port Authority of Constanta that entered as partner in TEN ECOPORT after a previous collaboration as observer within the ECOPORT8, has engaged to deal with the problems of water quality in the port aquatorium and waste generated by ships traffic.
In order to raise the public awareness, a special activity conceived in the project will be performed by each port.
In Constanta Port, at the initiative of the Naval Port Authority a working group consisting of environmental agencies, stakeholders, operators, GeoEcoMar researchers, etc. will be formed. One representative of this group will permanently join to the future project’s meetings.
Special attention has been paid to activities that involve creation of GIS maps of critical spots of pollution identified in the ports area, by collecting on line information from monitoring instruments installed in the ports. These maps will be available on line on the project website (www.tenecoport.eu).
The next meeting of the TEN ECOPORT partners, that will take place in June of this year, will be dedicated to workgroups and actions taken during the process of analysis of the problems identified and solutions found.
The launching conference of the project “TEN ECOPORT - Transnational ENhancement of ECOPORT8 network” was held in Bari, Italy, on the 7th December 2012. The project coordinated by Bari Polytechnic, Italy, lasts two years and involves 16 port authorities and research institutes partners, GeoEcoMar being partner in the consortium.
TEN ECOPORT - Transnational ENhancement of ECOPORT8 network is financed within the SEE Programme, Priority Axis: Protection and improvement of the environment,with a total budget of 2,284,282.00 EUR, out of which GeoEcoMar beneficiates of 109,600.100 EUR (85% ERDF funds, 13% cofinancing funds MDRT and 2% cofinancing GeoEcoMar).
The project aims to create a cooperation platform between European port authorities and between them and port operators, in order to improve the specific activities and environmental performance.
During the launching conference there was underlined the role of SEE programme for the South – East countries’ cooperation, as well as for ongoing the Ecoport8 project’s objectives through TEN ECOPORT.