Sunday, 20 October 2019

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The 'Jellyfish' women join hands with the Smurfs for clean beaches

Jellyfish marglyttur

One of the first things you encounter when you swim in the sea are jellyfish. The second, however, is most likely made of plastic. The jellyfish meet plastic when a group of Icelandic women who call themselves the 'JellyFishwill swim over the English Channel in early September to highlight plastic pollution in world seas.

"When you swim in the sea you become extremely conscious of the health of the oceans, says Brynhildur Ólafsdóttir, one of the Jellyfish. "That is the reason why we want raise consciousness on plastics in the oceans.“

Anticipating the International Coastal Clean-up Day 21 September, the Icelandic women will swim a relay across the 34 kilometres that divide the United Kingdom and France between Dover and Calais. Weather permitting, they will cross what has been called "the Everest of the swimming world“ in 14-16 hours this 4 September. Average temperatures in the English Channel in September is 16 degrees, but the 'Jellyfish' are used to colder seas around Iceland, typically averaging only 12 degrees.

 

 Blai forsetiThe Jellysfish, Tómas Knútsson of the Blue Army and the President of Iceland, Mr. Jóhannesson after an afternoon of beach-clean up on the southern coast of Iceland.

 

The 'Jellyfish' will also raise funds for the so-called Blue Army, an NGO, that has cleaned beaches in Iceland for the past 24 years.

Last week they joined forces with the Blue army to clean a beach on the south-coast of Iceland and were joined by the President of Iceland, Mr. Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, who told reporters that plastic pollution was one of the biggest global challenges.

UNRIC, the United Nations Regional Information Centre in Brussels, is a partner of the Jellyfish and the Blue Army in their efforts to raise consciousness of clean seas.

This year the European Union has joined forces with the United Nations Information Centres to organise beach clean-up events together with local organisations, schools and youth associations.

The #EUBeachCleanup campaign invites citizens everywhere to participate in local beach clean-up actions. On 21 September 2019, we will worldwide celebrate the International Coastal Clean-up Day. No matter how young or old, or wherever you are, you can contribute to making our ocean healthier.

This year the Belgian comic-book characters 'The Smurfs' will partner on the campaign. They have since their creation in 1958 been a universal symbol of optimism and friendship who live in harmony with nature and bring happiness to children and grownups across the world. The Smurfs are official campaign partners of the #EUBeachCleanup and the Sustainable Development Goals.

 

 Smurfs UE

Background

The European Union is leading the global fight against marine litter and has recently agreed legislation to curb single use plastics, especially those items that are most commonly found at the beach. In addition, the legislation focuses on lost fishing gear, which accounts to some 27% of all beach litter.

The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice. SDG 14 sets objectives for sustainable use and conservation of the ocean.

 

For more information:

Climate Action Summit 23 September 2019 https://www.un.org/en/climatechange/

 

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