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Sustainable Management for European Local Ports (SuPorts)
Start date: Dec 31, 2009, End date: Dec 30, 2012 PROJECT  FINISHED 

This project will help smaller ports and the local authorities managing them to address environmental issues. Most EU ports are small ports often combining shipping, fishing and leisure activities. Despite their small size they have important economic, social and environmental links with their surroundings. Together, the thousands of European local ports have a large cumulative impact. They face environmental challenges from EU policy and legislation, and higher expectations from their users and local residents, but they lack the tools to respond to these challenges. The aim of "SuPorts" is to help local ports to design better environmental strategies and to have easy access to suitable environmental management tools in order for them to remain competitive and to contribute to a more sustainable EU.The project proposes 2 axis: - an exchange of experience to identify and promote better practice in the fields of dredging, protecting the marine biodiversity and involving stakeholders;and the development of environmental management tools appropriate for smaller ports.Partners will work together to customize existing environmental management tools, such as self-diagnosis, indicators, and environmental management systems, that have been developed for large ports or other fields, to produce easy and ready-to-use tools that are relevant for use by local ports. Better practice by larger and leading-edge, small ports will be identified and tools developed for use by local ports and local authorities to encourage them to be pro-active environmental players: designing and implementing innovative environmental and port policies.The interregional partnership is led by the Seine-Maritime County Council (FR), and is the right mix of policy-making local authorities and public port autorities with operational experience. They will be supported by a few experts and disseminators to enable better practice to be broadcast around Europe.7 countries are represented covering the Atlantic Ocean, the Channel as well as Mediterranean, North, Baltic and Egean Seas.Over three years, the partners, supported by experts, will share and identify better practice, as well as test and formalize methodological tools. Activities will include trainings, studies, workshops, field work and the drafting of easy-to-read technical documentation. The results of this work will put at the disposal of all European local ports, practical guides on how to design and implement sustainable strategies and environmental management tools. These deliverables will be made available on-line and in paper formats, but also disseminated by Europe-wide confererences, local dissemination events in different languages and through a network of trainers.To sum it up, "SuPorts" aims at promoting "Sustainable management in European local Ports". Achievements: The project has been launched in September 2010 during a press conference which all project partners attended. A first training session (maritime English) was held in Klaipeda, Lithuania and enabled partners to share a common language and to confront environmental issues affecting ports and ways of dealing with them. The work on the Component 4 of the project started fast. Indeed in February 2011, the partnership attended an ECOSLC train the trainer workshop in Venice as well as the GreenPorts conference. Then, in May and June 2011, 2 ECOSLC workshops addressing the EcoPorts tools, mainly the Self Diagnosis Methodology and the Key performance indicators, were organised respectively in Piombino (IT) and Fécamp (FR) where several dozens of local port managers attended. The ports of Piombino and Portoferraio implemented the SDM and became Ecoports ports. In the end of 2011, it was the port managers of Galicia who participated to one EcoPorts tools workshop. This work on the customization of methodological tools improved well during the year 2012 also, as the Greek ports of Corfu, Volos, Kavala and Lagos participated to training sessions on these tools organized by the University of Thessaloniki, new partner on the project since November 2011. All these ports also implemented the SDM and obtained the Ecoports status. Finally, two other workshops occurred in May 2012, respectively in Piombino (IT) and Newhaven in East Sussex (GB). The workshop in East Sussex enabled like in France and Italy one year before to better adapt the tools to be achieved at the end of this project by the ECOSLC foundation and reach more ports in the Southeast English area. The Piombino workshop was dedicated to the PERS certification, another Ecoports tool, being a step further the SDM. One day after the 2nd annual conference in Corfu in late June 2012, a last session on the certification tools was organized by AUTH and ECOLSC with the attendance of all partners. These two partners are now finalizing the work done on the customization of the tools and will report it in the Policy paper to be included in the Final Scrapbook. Regarding the exchange of best practices, the project took some time to start effectively because of the withdrawal and late replacement of its original Greek partners. But now it is catching up these delays. Since July 2011, 2 workshops have been organized, one in East Sussex on Biodiversity and one on Stakeholders management in Thessaloniki in February 2012. Two more workshops on these related topics have been set for September 2012. Also, the annual conference in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, in November 2011 had enabled sharing experience on ports, environment and innovation aside to the dissemination of the projects results. The study on currents and sediments launched by SMCC at the beginning of the year is almost finalized and a dedicated workshop on Dredging has been planNed for October 2012.All these achievements have been strongly disseminated through 3 newsletters, dozens of press articles and press releases, a SuPorts dedicated website as well as 2 annual conferences, the 1st one in Santiago de Compostela in November 2011 and the 2nd one in Corfu in June 2012. Moreover, the SuPorts staff has deeply disseminated and communicated on the project during number of events: 3 other ports related European projects final conference: the C2C, PATCH and SMOCS projects as well as during a conference of the PORTNOVO project. SuPorts was also mentioned during the EU Mediterranean Conference on Research and Innovation. Last, our SuPorts staff attended two INTERREG IV C events in Krakow in November 2011 and Sofia in April 2012. The project will deliver its final results during its final conference in early December 2012 in Rouen, location of the Lead partner Seine Maritime County Council.
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