PRESS RELEASE The combat against coastal erosion brings closer communities in the Adriatic, the Aegean, the Levantine and the Black Sea

Local Authorities, Universities, NGOs and Universities from 4 different countries (Albania, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Greece) will meet in Varna (Bulgaria) for 2 days (August 31-September 1, 2017) to start a joint project with the acronym HERMES in order to produce harmonized guidelines on assessing and combating coastal erosion and apply them at four pilot sites – one per country.

Aggravated by the prospect of accelerated sea level rise due to climate change and the accumulated negative effects of mismanagement practices, coastal erosion is a particularly acute issue in areas whose livelihood is increasingly dependent on tourism.

“Republic of Albania is being faced with the loss of tens of square kilometers” says Edvin Pacara, Executive Director of the Institute for Environmental Policy in Albania, partner in the project, “endangering rich ecosystems, agriculture and tourism in the coastal areas, and also facing a heavy environmental, human and economic burden”.

Coastal erosion, Kune, Shëngjin, Albania

HERMES is a common initiative of six entities, supported by the European Union through the Balkan Med Program, covering over 280km of coastline in the Adriatic, the Aegean, the Levantine and the Black Sea designed to help local communities come up with concrete and viable solutions. It aims to develop a unified and harmonized framework for coastal erosion mitigation and beach restoration through the implementation of a coherent ensemble of studies, the sharing of already developed technical tools and the design of joint policy instruments.

With a mix of monitoring and modeling activities that will be deployed in the next 2 years, HERMES will help participating organizations to develop a minimum predictive capacity regarding coastal erosion and enable them to plan restoration measures ranging from “hard” interventions, such as wave breakers, to new, environment-friendly techniques.

HERMES in brief.

“HERMES – A HarmonizEd fRamework to Mitigate coastal EroSion promoting ICZM protocol implementation” is a project co-financed by the Balkan Med Program. Led by the Municipality of Paggaio (GR), it counts as Partners 1)Democritus University of Thrace (GR), 2)ORION Joint Research Center (CY), 3)Union of Bulgarian Black Sea Local Authorities (BG), 4)TEULEDA, Local Development Agency (AL) and 5)the Institute for Environmental Policy (AL). Its expected duration is 24 months (August 2017-August 2019) and the total budget exceeds 1,000,000 euros.