UN and Southern Aegean Region Cooperate to Protect Marine Environment

Kastellorizo, Greece. (Photo by Eurokinissi/Giorgos Kontarinis)

The protection of the marine environment of the southern Aegean from pollution prompted regional governor Giorgos Hatzimarkos to collaborate closely with the United Nations, to promote the UN’s world campaign “Clean Seas” in the southern Aegean.

The foundation for the cooperation were laid in November 2017 when Hatzimarkos met with United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) director Erik Solheim.

A meeting between the coordinator of the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of Marine Environment Habib El Habr and Hatzimarkos will be held shortly to define the framework of the cooperation for clean sea in the southern Aegean.

“The southern Aegean is the largest island region of Europe,” the governor said. “The aim of UN’s campaign ‘Clean Seas’ could not leave us indifferent. Everyone ought to understand that the protection of the marine environment is of vital importance for us: It is the source of life for our region, the home of our islands.”

Hatzimarkos pointed out that because of the high tourist popularity of the Aegean Islands, they bear a heavy environmental burden. “The use of UN’s experience in environmental matters and the adoption of its actions in the area constitutes a huge opportunity and an exceptional perspective to safeguard our islands’ sustainability in the future, along with their further development. We are going to take full advantage of this opportunity in the interest of the residents and the islands’ visitors,” Hatzimarkos said.