Keynote athens andrea merla

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Keynote athens andrea merla

  1. 1. OPENING REMARKS BY ANDREA MERLA Athens, 6-7 May 2014UNESCO IHP
  2. 2. Strategic Partnership for the Mediterranean Sea LME for accelerating SAP implementation Countries of the Barcelona Convention Lead Agencies: World Bank and UNEP MAP Co-financing partners include Italy, France, Spain, UNESCO, UNIDO, FAO, and others World Bank Partnership Investment Fund - GEF: $70m, Minimum expected co-financing: $250m Demonstrations of innovative approaches to reduce N and LBS and coastal habitats degradation, focusing on transboundary hot spots (e.g.: eutrophication of the Adriatic Sea) and sensitive areas UNEP MAP – GEF - FFEM Regional Foundational Project involving all Barcelona Convention countries: Results: (i) TDA - Agreement on two main transboundary concerns: Land based pollution (nutrients) and coastal degradation; Over- fishing and biodiversity loss; (ii) SAP - All countries agreed at inter-ministerial level on two Strategic Programs identifying specific actions to address the above priority concerns and targets to be achieved. (iii) Agreement to move on to the implementation of the reforms and investments required by the two SAPs. FOUNDATIONAL WORK SAP IMPLEMENTATION - STRESS REDUCTION MEASURES Ended 2005 2010 - 2015 Sub-Projects (soft pipeline) -- Bosnia (N reduction, habitats) -- Egypt (N reduction, ICM) -- Montenegro (Habitats, N reduction) -- Morocco Nador Lagoon (habitat, N reduction) -- Croatia (N reduction, habitats) - Albania (N reduction) - Turkey (habitats, N reduction) - Tunisia (N reduction) - Etc. UNEP MAP, and Partners (FAO, UNIDO, UNESCO) Regional Project –(GEF$14m) Objectives: To ensure the overall coordination of the Strategic Partnership, To facilitate the policy legal and institutional reforms called for in the SAPs, with focus on fisheries and coastal habitats To Promote the new approaches, and linkages with coastal aquifers, ICZM and IWRM To monitor the effectiveness of the stress reduction effort, and the environmental status in the Mediterranean Sea LME. FOR THE FIRST TIME THE ROLE OF COSTAL AQUIFERS IN COASTAL MARINE ECOSYSTEMS IS BEING RECOGNIZED IN A GEF INTERNATIONAL WATERS PROJECT
  3. 3. Many active geologic processes occur in coastal zones including erosion, sedimentation, alongshore and onshore sand transport, shoreline changes, wind/tidal flooding, dunes accretion, and freshwater – saltwater interactions. Coastal zones are open and dynamic systems with numerous internal processes as well as interactions with the wider environment, natural and man-made. Coastal ecosystems are among the most productive ecosystems in the world. They are also among the most complex and threatened.
  4. 4. This is occurring in a majority of the world’s populated coastal area, including the Mediterranean. Seawater intrusion is not easily reversed and is endangering development in many highly- populated coastal regions and Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Degradation of coastal aquifers: a global scale problem Over-exploitation of coastal aquifers often results in saline water intrusion
  5. 5. It is a ubiquitous coastal process that is driven by climatologic, hydrogeological, and oceanographic processes. Terrestrial hydraulic gradients almost always transport both surface and ground water toward the coast. In coastal waters, physical oceanographic processes such as wave set-up, tidal pumping, and density- driven circulation impact these hydraulic gradients and thus affect rates of submarine groundwater discharge. Submarine groundwater discharge Although only fresh groundwater discharge has traditionally been accounted for in numerical simulations of coastal water budgets, the discharge of recirculated saline groundwater may be equally or even more important in terms of material transport (for example, nutrients, metals, organics) across land/sea margins.
  6. 6. Management of wastewater treatment practices in coastal regions critically depends on accurate estimates of the flux and quality of ground water in the coastal zone. There is a need for an improved understanding of the geological framework of coastal aquifers, the pathways by which ground water travels to the coastal zone, the specific locations and dimensions of submarine discharge zones, and the geochemical transformations that take place prior to discharge. COASTAL AQUIFERS AND THE COASTAL - MARINE ENVIRONMENT Increasing population density and changing agricultural practices in coastal areas have led to releases of nutrients (and other contaminants) into the coastal environment from fertilizer use, industrial practices, and wastewater discharge. This has led to eutrophication in many coastal waters, which is a widespread concern. Yet, the role that groundwater- derived nutrients has played in coastal eutrophication is not well understood in many areas
  7. 7. The total amount of groundwater entering the coastal environment with its load of nutrients and other contaminants is not known, but certainly very large: it is estimated that karstic groundwater is the largest source of freshwater entering the Adriatic Sea.
  8. 8. The delta of the Neretva River, where excess nutrients from agriculture and groundwater abstractions for irrigation are threatening water quality and the health of the delta’s unique AND and still largely pristine ecosystems.
  9. 9. Salt marshes are an important wetland system in the Mediterranean, interfacing the land and coastal water. Dominated by salt-tolerant plants, these wetlands provide essential eco- environmental services for maintaining coastal biodiversity. They also act as sediment traps and help stabilize the coastline. Salt marshes are a complex hydrological system characterized by strong, dynamic interactions between surface water and groundwater, which underpin the wetland’s eco-functionality.
  10. 10. In Small Island States - the sentinels of the global environment - is where costal aquifers play a most vital role •Their environmental health reflects the health of our planet. •They are heavily impacted by global degradation agents which are outside their control: climate change, contamination by persistent toxics, navigational hazards, decline of fisheries among them. •Local factors also play an important role, as growing population needs and tourism have placed unsustainable pressures on their limited resources.
  11. 11. The nature of coastal aquifers depend on the geological origins of Oceanic Islands Volcanism related to Hot Spots Volcanism related to subduction (Volcanic Arcs) Volcanism related to ocean floor spreading Atolls (sinking volcanoes) Limestone platforms Orogenic (mostly sedimentary) Suvarrow - Cook isl Tristan da Cunha Marianas Crozet isl Trinidad Barbados
  12. 12. Low lying islands and atolls: the most groundwater dependent and the most vulnerable Exuma, Bahamas Andros, Bahamas
  13. 13. NevisVolcanic Islands: drill away from the coast!
  14. 14. Sea water intrusion Submarine discharges of contaminated groundwater Degradation of groundwater dependent coastal and shallow marine habitats Pollution of aquifers from inadequate land use and surface activities Sea level rise Groundwater related hazards Mitigation measures Land-use planning integrating consideration of aquifer vulnerability Reinjection, sustainable abstractions Land-use planning integrating consideration of aquifer vulnerability Management of groundwater quality and flows Infrastructural interventions Coastal areas
  15. 15. MAPPING COASTAL AQUIFER VULNERABILITY AN ESSENTIAL ELEMENT IN COASTAL MANAGMENT
  16. 16. cook Mitigating salt water intrusion Waste brine storage Storage and recovery Managing aquifers, managing the subsurface
  17. 17. Green infrastructure –It is the interconnected network of open spaces and natural areas, such as greenways, wetlands, parks, forest preserves, that manages storm water, protects groundwater, reduces flooding risk and improves water quality naturally. These natural infrastructure projects also can engage community cohesiveness by encouraging all community residents to get involved in the planning, planting and maintenance of the sites. GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE IN COASTAL AREAS Natural…. or engineered Egypt: Lake Manzala engineered wetland
  18. 18. THANK YOU VIESTE, ITALY

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