Millions of tourists who flock to the beaches of the Mediterranean coast are facing increasing risks from pollution.
Millions of tourists who flock to the beaches of the Mediterranean coast are facing increasing risks from pollution. This is one of the facts to emerge from a conference called to try to stem the flow of pollutants into the sea.
SYNOPSIS: Senior officials and advisers from all but one of the 18 countries which border the Mediterranean are attending the six-day conference, which started in Monte Carlo on Monday (9 January). Sponsored by the United Nations Environment Programme, the conference is aiming to draft an international treaty to cut down the flow of disease bearing pollution into the sea.
Commander Jacques Cousteau, the French underwater explorer and scientist is attending. He said that results of a recent survey showed the polluted zone was extending further out to sea every year.
The executive director of UNEP, Dr. Mostafa Tolba added to the grim picture, saying that the Mediterranean beaches-which attract 100 million tourists every year are probably the worst polluted by oil in the world. Many previously safe areas now presented risks to holidaymakers. Experts consider that the Rhone and the Po rivers in France and Italy carry most of the pollution, discharging huge quantities of industrial waste, sewage and agricultural chemicals
Officials think it will take another meeting later this year before the treaty is ready for signature.