cleaning up the Bat Yam beach
cleaning up the Bat Yam beach European Union delegation to Israel

On the occasion of World Oceans Day today, the Delegation of The European Union to the State of Israel, the Embassy of France to Israel, the Municipality of Bat Yam and the Clean Beach volunteer group organized an official beach clean-up activity as part of the annual #EUBeachCleanup campaign, and within the framework of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

The event was attended by dozens of EU ambassadors and diplomats, local volunteers and about 150 students from students from the French College Marc Chagall, the Lasalle Brothers College, Marcel & Lucette Drahi College-High School, Maïmonide Mikve-Israel High School and the Shazar school.

Dimiter Tzantchev, Ambassador of the European Union to Israel, said: Protecting the environment is absolutely a top policy priority for us. That’s why the EU organises ocean-activism and awareness-raising campaigns every year, everywhere in the world. We strongly believes that we can all make a real difference for our blue planet, taking responsible action as individuals and collectively.

The #EUBeachCleanup campaign is an annual global campaign to raise awareness and mobilize for the oceans, launched in 2017 by the European Union.

Eric Danon, Ambassador of France to Israel, said: “Among the many things that France and Israel share in common, the Mediterranean Sea is without a doubt the most precious. I am glad to see today such mobilization of individual and collective energies to help protect what we cherish the most.”

Tzvika Brot, Mayor of Bat Yam, said: Participants including Ambassadors of EU Member States, senior members of the Municipality of Bat Yam and dozens of children and will be expected.

Samuel Guelem, head of Clean Beach Bat Yam, added: "What a wonderful experience, where public figures, students and residents of different nationalities got together. This is proof that the protection of the oceans has no borders and concerns us all.”

The European Union is a global leader in the fight against climate change. It adopted in July 2021 a set of proposals called the European Green Deal, to make the EU’s climate, energy, transport and taxation policies fit for reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. As of 2021, new regulations ban certain single-use plastic items from EU markets, which are geared to reduce plastic pollution and marine litter. With regards to oceans, European Green Deal priorities include: protecting our biodiversity and ecosystems; reducing air, water and soil pollution, moving towards a circular economy, improving waste management and ensuring the sustainability of blue economy and fisheries sectors.

France has been at the forefront of climate diplomacy since the 2015 Paris agreement, and fully committed to stepping up the international community’s ambition on maritime and oceanic issues, with a view to fight against climate change and protect biodiversity. Representatives of more than 100 countries from all sea basins and representing more than half the world’s exclusive economic zones, stated their determination to preserve the oceans by contributing to the “Brest Commitments for the Oceans”, alongside the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Director-General of UNESCO and the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Now is the time for action to preserve biodiversity, stop overexploitation of marine resources, fight pollution and mitigate climate change.