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Venerdì, 26 Giugno 2015 16:59

Italy and Tunisia fighting seagrass problem together

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Rome  - A new project meant to revive tourism on coastlines covered with Posidonia, a type of seagrass, was presented in Rome on Thursday. The Medcot project aims to turn waste into resource with the help of innovative Italian technology while respecting the environment.

It was presented by Italian Environment Minister Gian Luca Galletti, by the Chairman of the Senate Environment Commission Giuseppe Marinello and by the mayor of Castelvetrano Selinunte. Italian scientists teamed up with researchers in the Tunisian city of Hammam-Lif whose coast, along with the beaches of Marinella di Selinunte, was selected to study the aquatic plant. Posidonia is one of the most widespread seagrasses in the Mediterranean and often creates problems by covering beaches, making them less attractive for tourism. The project aims to identify a standard way to recover the beached plants, where current methods weigh heavily on the budgets of many coastal towns.
  Medcot has scheduled the creation of a pilot plant on the Italian coast, a unique installation that will collect, shred and prepare the vegetal matter for composting, creating a high quality compost that can be used in agriculture or sold to finance part of the cost of removing the plants. Using the same equipment, the collected Posidonia can also be transformed into fuel. The Tunisian side of the project follows a different approach, which aims to keep the seagrass from the beaches using special breakwaters that change the waterflow. "This initiative is an example of how an environmental approach can promote growth and development, in this case tourism," said Minister Galletti. He underlined that "the project's main goal is to protect the environment, but there is also a synergy between the environment, agriculture, energy, revival of tourism and technological innovation, which could become a new Italian line of production."(AGI)

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