Ph. Stefano BiondoIn these uncertain times, we would like to take this opportunity to send a message of solidarity and goodwill to you, our valued supporters and followers. The quarantine so many of us are currently experiencing has highlighted our need to take better care, not just of ourselves, but also of the world around us and shows more than ever that we are not separate from nature, but part of it. With normal human activity reduced, we are already seeing lower CO2 emissions, cleaner water and cleaner air: a welcome opportunity for wildlife to thrive.This is an opportunity for all of us to consider the impact our behaviour has on our planet, and for us to come together to bring about positive and long-lasting change.
The Aeolian Islands’s ecosystems and biodiversity need our support now, more than ever.
The Aeolian Islands Preservation Fund (AIPF) works to preserve the exceptional natural beauty of the Islands, by promoting a sustainable approach to tourism and development through a number of initiatives across five main areas: marine conservation; landscape conservation; sustainable agriculture; waste management and renewable energy.
We recently organised a series of online seminars together with BLUE Marine Foundation, involving some important research groups, to bring the Aeolian Islands into your home and elaborate on the unique nature of the archipelago.
All webinars are live streaming, and stored, on the AIPF youtube channel. The University of Palermo, Department of Earth and Sea Sciences, and the University of Naples, Department of Biology, advised our webinars to their Phd students and we are releasing them a certificate of attendance.
We also promoted a cycle of scientific/didactic seminars organized by Filicudi Wildlife Conservation, with video projections and images focusing on environmental issues concerning the sea and its inhabitants! We invited the primary school children of the Aeolian Islands to join the competition “Draw the Aeolian Sea” with the aim to raise awareness on the importance to protect the sea.
We are happy to announce that the winner of the contest is Alice Lo Schiavo from the school of Pianoconte, who will be awarded with a snorkeling set (mask, snorkel, fins and wetsuit)! Her drawing shows a girl swimming in the sea in front of the stacks in Lipari, polluted by waste and ghost nets. Silvia Mollica and Manuel Paris from the school of Canneto, deserve a special mention and they will be awarded with a diving mask. Silvia’s drawing shows the extreme beauty of two dolphins swimming undisturbed at night in the sea of Filicudi. Manuel imagined plastic waves crashing on the shore in Stromboli. A special thank goes to the teacher Domenica Iannello for her organizational support.
THE CONSERVATION COLLECTIVE
The Conservation Collective global members launched the initiative #DreamGlobalEatLocal. The Covid-19 crisis has hammered home the importance of being able to produce food locally, in order to sustain our islands’ businesses and reduce our reliance on imports and global supply chains. Supporting sustainable agriculture has long-term environmental benefits and is crucial in our fight against climate change and the restoration of nature.
Join us as a funder or partner or by submitting a project.
#DreamGlobalEatLocal join our campaign share local produce and recipes by tagging the Aeolian Islands Preservation Fund and The Conservation Collective.
In the past the AIPF has supported the following local produce projects, which have highlighted to us the increased need for pushing this important area of focus.
- A social mill for the growers of Stromboli with Attiva Stromboli, tor the growers of Stromboli, to be able to produce their own olive oil. 3,500 of olives have been harvested this year into 450 kg of olive oil.
- An educational programme for 200 children with Slow Food, to learn about growing local fruit and vegetables, including learning about making honey with a local producer of Black Sicilian Bees. The main produce are seasonal: cabbages, potatoes, salad, broad beans, strawberries.
- The development of a brand for the responsible fishermen from Salina and Stromboli with Blue Marine Foundation. These fishermen signed up to a responsible fishing voluntary code of conduct and were given ice machines and reusable insulated fish boxes to improve the quality and freshness of their catch.
- A guide to raise awareness about the Aeolian archipelago’s commercial marine species and traditional local recipes was distributed to 22 restaurants with Kurma association. An infographic poster displaying a fish calendar of the Aeolian commercial species, a guide to responsible fish consumption, in collaboration with Capofaro, Tasca d’Almerita and the Coast Guard.
MARINE POLLUTION ALERT
The rise in disposable face masks and gloves being used to prevent the spread of coronavirus is adding to the glut of plastic pollution threatening the health of oceans and marine life. The bright colours of latex gloves risk can be mistaken as food by seabirds, turtles and other marine mammals putting them at risk of severe injuries and death. More than ever in this hard times we feel it’s important to warn about this threat and to not forget to protect the sea though our everyday responsible choices.
We hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy.