July 6th 2023
Oceanic Revival: Uniting for Blue Planet Restoration BY Ahmed Hamida
I am Ahmed Hamida, founder of ‘Salam for the Beach’ in Gabes, Tunisia. Born and raised amidst environmental turmoil, my life has been intertwined with the plight of my community, and I have witnessed firsthand the truth and devastating consequences of pollution.
Salam for the Beach is an inspiring initiative that aims to reclaim and restore the once-pristine coastal areas of Gabes, from the clutches of industrial and plastic pollution. Led by a passionate and dedicated team, Salam for the Beach is driven by a deep commitment to environmental sustainability, community empowerment, and the preservation of our natural resources.
The industrial zone and plastic pollution that has plagued Gabes for far too long has left an indelible mark on the city and its people. My team and I have witnessed firsthand the devastating consequences of this pollution, from the loss of biodiversity to the alarming increase in health issues among the local population, to marine life suffering from entanglement or ingestion of plastic. It is our unwavering belief that together, we can reverse this destructive trend and breathe new life into our cherished coastal ecosystems.
Salam for the Beach aims to undertake a comprehensive strategy encompassing beach clean-up campaigns, educational workshops, community outreach, and the establishment of sustainable practices. Our vision extends beyond mere environmental restoration; we seek to foster a sense of ownership and pride among the local community, empowering them to become ambassadors of change and guardians of their natural heritage.
Here are some alarming facts that highlight the urgency of this issue:
1. According to estimates by National Geographic Society, there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans by 2050 if current trends continue.
2. A study published in Science Magazine revealed that approximately 8 million metric tons of plastic enter our oceans each year.
3. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation reports that if no action is taken, there could be around 850-950 million metric tons of plastics present in our seas by 2025.
To effectively address this crisis head-on, he has proposed the following actions:
1. Implementing strict regulations worldwide: Governments must enact stringent laws banning single-use plastics such as bags and bottles while promoting sustainable alternatives.
2. Enhance waste management systems: Invest in infrastructure for proper waste collection and recycling, ensuring that plastic waste is not left to pollute our oceans.
3. Promote education and awareness: Launch comprehensive campaigns to educate individuals, communities, and industries about the importance of responsible plastic use and disposal.
4. Encourage innovation: Support research and development of eco-friendly materials as well as technologies for efficient ocean cleanup.
We can all implement petitions no matter where we are in this world. We can urge world leaders, policymakers, environmental organizations, and concerned citizens to come together in a united effort to combat pollution in our oceans. We must prioritize the health of our planet and its inhabitants over convenience or short-term gains.
Let us all stand together on a global scale to revamp the cleanup process of our oceans, in an unwavering commitment to forge a new path—one that will redefine progress, nurture our planet, and safeguard the legacy we will leave for generations yet to come. We invite you to join us on this incredible journey of transformation and be a catalyst for change.
Visit our GoFundMe page for the Salam for the Beach project to learn more.