As part of the BLUE TYRE project, on 30 May 2022 a group of researchers from the University of Salento arrived to Lebanon, led by prof. Stefano Piraino of the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences and Technologies, in order to conduct research on the state of health of the sea and the coast of the ancient city of Tyre. The young researchers will transfer skills and tools for the creation of an environmental observatory useful for knowing and identifying natural resources, protecting the existing ecosystem and managing problems related to non-indigenous species which, following the opening of the Suez Canal, are gradually invading the whole Mediterranean.
The Italian delegation met the main local partners and stakeholders including the Mayor and the municipality of Tyre, the Nature Reserve of Tyre, local associations and the fishing community with whom a training and scientific monitoring campaign was activated.
Furthermore, prof. Piraino held a conference together with the students and teachers of the IUL (Islamic University of Lebanon), in which the threats in biodiversity caused by climate change and biological invasions were addressed, underlining the importance of protecting marine areas in order to keep the ecosystem alive and to benefit fishing activities thanks to the spillover effect.
Project BLUE TYRE is funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation and is developed by the Municipality of Tricase (LE) which leads a group of Apulian technical partners including CTM (Cooperation in the Territories of the World), the University of Salento, the Natural History Museum of Salento and the Magna Grecia Mare association.