UNEP warns Med basin heading for disaster

730 tons more of plastic waste polluting waters every day

23 October, 13:10

    (ANSAmed) - ROME, OCTOBER 23 - The Mediterranean basin is at risk of suffering irreversible environmental damage.

    With its coasts and sea routes among the busiest in the world, its countries among the most popular tourist destinations in the world, the region is polluted by about 730 more tons of plastic waste every day.

    The presence of over 1,000 non-autochthonous species is a threat to biodiversity and the zone is warming twenty times faster than the global average.

    The warning was in the latest report by the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), which noted that the loss of biodiversity, environmental degradation, the growing impact of climate change, and constant pressure on natural resources could have devastating and lasting consequences on human health and means of subsistence in the region, which includes Spain, France, Italy, Malta, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Lebanon, Syria, Israel, Palestine, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt.

    The report underscores that 15% of deaths in the area are due to environmental factors, with exposure to atmospheric pollution leading to the premature deaths of 228,000 people in 2016.

    The report underscores that the region hosts over 512 million inhabitants and is not doing well in its attempts to achieve Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

    It notes that if past mistakes are admitted and learnt from, a 'green' rebirth of the Mediterranean can be imagined but urgent measures are required to stop the current trends. (ANSA).

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