|Country||Iran, Islamic Republic of|
|Categories||Biodiversity, Communities, Education, Marine|
|Date||12 Jun 2018|
Marine coastal debris particularly plastic particles have been exponentially accumulated in our oceans. The source of plastics finds their way to world waters is due to land based activities. Around half a million tons of plastic is consumed in Iran annually and the country ranks fifth globally. In Iran, there is no legal ban on plastic items especially single used plastic bags. The major challenges to tackle this problem in Iran are mostly due to: lack of scientific data, insufficient environmental education and weak rules and legislations for litter entry to aquatic environment.
The Qeshm Island is the biggest Island in the Persian Gulf and recently has been introduced as top ranking touristic place in southern Iran. The fragile nature of the Island is under pressure by the climate change stressors, over population, alteration of coastal habitats and severe habitat destruction. The emerging issue of plastic debris is mostly related to high rate of consumption of single used plastic bags, Poor waste disposal, over population in high season and lack of education about potential hazards of plastic debris to marine ecosystems. In this project we focus on coastlines of the Island particularly popular sandy beaches, open mudflats, protected natural mangrove forests and sea turtle’s nesting area.
Based on our objectives, three different kinds of activities will be expected:
i) Raising awareness of general public with the focus on local women and volunteers by organizing workshops, publishing brochures, face to face communications and debris removal campaigns
ii) Marine debris surveys, data analysis, and publishing results. The distribution, deposition sites, sources (land based or from the sea) will be investigated.
iii) Paves the way for producing cotton bags with marine conservation concepts and empowering local women. Empower local women to engage in this project increase their sensitivity to their surrounding environment and also provide financial source to keep continue.
In this project, we focus on local community participation and empower women to achieve our goal reducing the amount of plastic debris from land based sources and mitigate the negative impact on marine - coastal fauna.
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