Costa Mediterranea will host meetings and debates from 19 – 23 September to discuss the importance of fresh and salt water on a study cruise called “World heritage: living with water”.
The cruise is being organised by the Federazione Italiana dei Club e Centri UNESCO (FICLU) (Italian Federation of UNESCO clubs and centres) and the Committee for the International Hydrological Program (IHP), in collaboration with Costa Cruises (Europe’s number one cruise company) and the Levanto & Cinque Terre UNESCO Club.
Costa Mediterranea (85,700 gross tonnage and 2,680 total guests) will set sail on the afternoon of 19 September from Savona. It will call at Marseilles (20 September), Barcelona (21 September), Palma de Mallorca (22 September) and Ajaccio (23 September).
The first study session, entitled “Water and climate change”, will be held on 20 September with the participation of Prof. Maria Luisa Stringa (FICLU President), Prof. Lucio Ubertini (President of the Italian National Committee of UNESCO IHP) and Dr. Nicola Coscini (Serchio River Basin Authority).
The second session, “Water for life and survival”, coordinated by Prof. Vernier from Cagliari University, taking place on 21 September, will focus on efforts to safeguard water resources. The third session will focus on the theme of law and development, with the assistance of Dr. Paolo Calabrese (Director Department of Human Rights and Law Enforcement FICLU) about the improper use of water by organised crime.
Costa Mediterranea will, at the same time, be hosting an exhibition of photographs of great feats of hydraulic engineering and drawings by Leonardo Da Vinci.
“Water is a priority issue for UNESCO from a cultural, scientific and ethical point of view. We live in a world confronted with the threat of continual environmental disasters caused not only by natural forces but also by inadequate watershed management and uncontrolled exploitation of natural resources,” says Prof. Ubertini.
“Water is a key element in many world heritage sites. In Italy alone, we have Venice, Rome, Ferrara and Florence that all have very close historical, artistic and social ties with rivers like the Tiber, Arno and Po, all very much cradles of civilization for these cities.”
One of the highlights of the study cruise will be the presentation of the first “Poseidon Award” to Costa Cruises in Marseilles on 20 September, which recognises the company’s continuous commitment to water conservation and environmental protection.
The “Poseidon Prize” will be collected by Ernesto Gori, Vice President of Quality Standards Compliance & Auditing.
Prof. Stringa explains: “We want to underline the value that scientific discovery can have for society as a whole, which is one of the conditions set out in the UNESCO Culture of Peace Program in order to promote sustainable social development.”
The Costa fleet is among the most advanced in the world in terms of environmental design, management, compliance and energy saving. Costa Cruises has voluntarily implemented fleet-wide environmental compliance procedures that are even stricter than the mandatory provisions laid down by the local, national and international laws and regulations in force. The company has been certified by RINA (Italian Shipping Register) with the BEST4, an integrated system of voluntary certification of corporate compliance with the highest standards governing social accountability, environment, safety and quality.
Onboard the ships, no solid waste or special waste is ever discharged overboard. Most of the water used on the ships is produced directly on board using desalination plants. The discharge of treated sewage and greywater at sea only takes place at a distance greater than 12 miles from the nearest land, instead of the four-mile limit stipulated in the international regulations. In the context of protecting the marine environment, Costa Cruises has installed a fail-safe “white box” system on all the ships in the fleet, enabling a further check of the oil content of effluent water. Just as important are the energy and fuel-saving measures introduced on board, that led to a subsequent decrease in pollutant emissions. Costa Cruises has also been an official partner of WWF Italia for the protection of the sea since July 2005.