Thousands of volunteers participate until September 24 in the seventh edition of the '1m2 for the beaches and the seas' campaign, a citizen science campaign by the Libera Project, by SEO/BirdLife in alliance with Ecoembes, which aims to fight against litter. in marine environments, as well as keeping the coast and seas free of waste. The first day of this seventh edition was held on September 16, coinciding with World Beach Day, and will extend with actions over the course of a week in 302 points throughout Spain.
The Libera project highlights that "among the people participating in this environmental campaign, as in previous years, Queen Doña Sofía, through the Foundation that bears her name, wanted to participate and show, once again, her commitment to the fight." against garbage after the end of the summer season where the beaches and seabed are more threatened.
One of the events of this campaign, on Saturday the 16th, took place on La Caleta del Estacio beach, in San Javier (Murcia), and was attended by Queen Doña Sofía, along with the Minister of the Environment, Universities, Research and Mar Menor, Juan María Vázquez, the deputy mayor of San Javier, María Dolores Ruiz Jiménez, the director of ANSE, Pedro García, the person in charge of the Social Area of SEO/BirdLife Federico García and the CEO of Ecoembes, Rosa Trigo also of more than twenty volunteers in a garbage collection and waste characterization (cans, cigarette butts, wipes, straws or plastics).
The participants in the meeting were able to learn first-hand about the activity and work carried out by the scientists of ANSE (Association of Naturalists of the Southeast), collaborators of the Libera Project and who in 2023 celebrate their 50th anniversary protecting nature in the Region of Murcia .
"Her Majesty Queen Sofía has been committed to the environment for years. The collaboration with the LIBERA Project was forged in 2018, through the Foundation that bears her name and with this, it is already the seventh time that she has volunteered against of garbage." "But, its commitment does not stop there, since it also collaborates in carrying out different campaigns against the abandonment of waste in marinas, supports seabed cleanups through diving centers or collaborates in raising awareness about the conservation of the "Balearic shearwater, an endangered marine species that lives in the Balearic Islands".
The Minister of the Environment, Mar Menor, Universities and Research, Juan María Vázquez, commented that "The scientific and international community agree when it comes to warning about the serious impacts of abandoning waste in the Natural Environment. We appreciate the push from SEO /BirdLife and Ecoembes in this great LIBERA campaign. The impact of garbage on wildlife is a field already analyzed and where the evidence is incontestable, we must equally emphasize the marine environment. We already have data that approximately 17 percent of the species affected by garbage is part of the Red List of the International Union for Conservation (IUCN), therefore initiatives such as LIBERA are very important and necessary for greater awareness and care of the Natural Environment."
From the city council of San Javier, in the words of its deputy mayor, María Dolores Ruiz Jiménez, they wanted to “one more year thank SEO/BirdLife and Ecoembes for this initiative, which is already part of the annual programming of the city council of San Javier since year 2018 to join forces in prevention, knowledge, awareness and citizen participation, with the aim of keeping our natural spaces free of garbage. There have been many schools and associations in our municipality that have joined in the collections year after year. San Javier is committed to any activity that represents a change for the improvement of the planet and we are aware of taking care of the natural spaces that surround us where any small gesture or small action adds up and achieves big changes.”
For his part, from ANSE, Pedro García, comments that "For about twenty-five years we have been working at sea and on the coast to evaluate the magnitude of the problem of marine litter and we have been verifying that it is undoubtedly a growing problem and if we want For the problem to become less and less and the garbage to end up impacting less than it is doing on the marine fauna and landscapes, the involvement of the entities that are working right now in the LIBERA Project is essential, but also all the people who Today he is accompanying us by removing what others have thrown away and raising awareness so that next time that garbage does not end up on the coast.”
“Collaboration and joint work are essential to confront litter, one of the biggest environmental problems we face as a society and which endangers our ecosystems and biodiversity. Therefore, it is a true honor for us to be able to count, for another year, on the collaboration of Her Majesty Queen Sofía in the cleaning of marine environments, always giving an example of her concern and great environmental commitment,” says Rosa Trigo, CEO. by Ecoembes.
“The thousands of volunteers who become aware of the impact that garbage has on the natural environment are speakers for many other people to pay attention to this environmental problem. The citizen science campaigns to collect and characterize the garbage that we carry out in the project allow us to understand the reality and seek solutions. Thanks to all of them for making us reflect on our production and consumption model and the amount of waste we generate,” adds Federico García, head of the SEO/BirdLife Social Area.