International Co-operation for the Protection of Caostal Zones and Large River Basins of the Mediterranean Basin (CORIMED)

(Joined Project of Scientific and Technological Research  Between Italy and Egypt)

Funded by: Ministero degli Affari Esteri

Period: 2004-2007


Intense human activities in regions surrounding enclosed and semi-enclosed seas, such as the Mediterranean, always produce a strong environmental impact in form of costal and marine degradation. Mediterranean Basin, due to his high level of anthropogenic pressure, suffers the pollution deriving from human activities more than others seas. In view of the above, at the Barcelona Convention the protection of the marine environment and the coastal region of the Mediterranean has been recognized as one of the field demanding a stronger international co-operation and as an irreplaceable dimension for the achievement of sustainable development in the Mediterranean. By integrating resources and promoting the exchange of data between two of the contracting parties (Art. 13), CORIMED represents an important step towards the goals launched in the Barcelona Convention and follows a path already started by the CNR-Institute for Atmospheric Pollution (CNR-IIA) with EUROCAT and ELME, two EU funded projects that experience the integrated approach for catchment – coastal zone among some of the European Countries of the Mediterranean Basin.

 Project Description

CORIMED, funded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for a period of 2004-2007, aims to create a closer co-operation between the CNR-IIA and the Oceanography Department of Alexandria University with the purpose of establishing an International Research Unit in the field of atmospheric pollution and Coastal Zone Management in the Mediterranean Basin. Theis cooperation will lead to the integration of knowledge, of monitoring and analytical techniques as well as the use of GIS systems and implementation of policy tools between the two institutions. A profitable exchange of know-how will be effected with the purpose of arriving at comparable levels of knowledge and technical ability that will constitute the point of departure for new research projects and for the optimisation of a common strategy for the study, the custody and the sustainable development of Mediterranean Environment Resources. Only through common strategies, based on the internationalisation of knowledge and technology, it is indeed possible to arrive at a single management tool at Community level that can support the implementation of the Directives on Water Quality.

General Objectives

In order to establish an International Research Unit in the field of atmospheric pollution and Coastal Zone Management in the Mediterranean Basin, the CNR-IIA and the Oceanography Department of Alexandria University will cooperate to achieve the following objectives:

  • Integration and unification of terminology and know-how;
  • Standardisation of analysis and monitoring techniques;
  • Know-how exchange and common strategies for a better understanding of the obtained data;
  • Development of research projects in the framework of the European Commission activities, European Science Foundation, UN, etc.;

The above objectives will be reached, implementing an intense mobility activity of Italian and Egyptian researchers that will help to create a stronger cooperation between the two institutions.

Coastal Zone Management requires the development of integrated management strategies that can lead to a sustainable use of catchment – coastal resources under intense environmental change pressure. These strategies can be developed only by using an holistic approach that combines together different aspects. For this reason the specific objectives to be achieved by the CORIMED are:

WP1 - Database and GIS
To develop a Database (DB) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for CZ in both countries. The task will collect and assess information on chemical, ecological and socio-economical indicators as well as spatially defined physical information of the catchments and the CZ. Moreover time series data of climate and rivers in both countries will be collected. The database describing the state of the catchment and coastal sea will be interfaced with model/tools needed for the assessment of the impact of fluxes from river basins to coastal seas. GIS maps will present the state of environment in the regions of study.  Inventories of relevant national and international treaties and regulations will be prepared
WP2 - Biogeochemical Models
To develop Biogeochemical models for CZ. Loads of nutrients and contaminants detected in the former task will be transferred to the CZ by using models. Critical loads and indicators necessary to define environmental qualities will be derived from the existing international and national agreements and treaties. Response of the coastal system to changing loads will be assessed.
WP3 - Socio-Economic Models
To develop Socio-economic models. Future directions (scenarios) of the driving forces with consequences on watersheds and coastal zones as well as changes in overall state will be taken into account. Stakeholders interests will drive the scenarios framework. Multi-criteria analysis of formulated scenarios will be done by using socio-economic models and the effectiveness of institutional assessment of scenarios and policy options will be evaluated.
WP4 - Remote Sensing Techniques
Employment of remote sensing techniques for CZM in order to improve the performance of models and quality of databases. Remote Sensing will enhance global monitoring of coastal zone. Numerous sensors get different physical measures and could enhance CZ exploration: panchromatic or multispectral, altimetric measures, colour of the ocean, phytoplankton, radar measures, temperature, winds velocity, temperature). Their spatial resolution range from 10 meters to 1 kilometer.
WP5 - DPSIR Framework
To develop DPSIR framework for large rivers with related CZ and socio-economic scenario analysis. The DPSIR framework is combined with the River-Coast continuum. According to this framework there is a chain of causal links from driving forces over pressure to environmental state and impact on ecology and society, finally leading to political response (Luiten, 1999). The above framework will unify and connect changes in pollutant/nutrient fluxes with socio-economic drivers. Moreover the evaluation of the Impact for different Drivers and Pressure factors allows the identification of the optimal strategy(-ies) to achieve the objectives and goals for a human compliant (sustainable) environment.


  • CNR – Institute of Environmental Pollution (CNR-IIA) – COORDINATORE
  • Alexandria University – Faculty of Science – OCEANOGRAPHY DEP. – EGYPT
Nicola Pirrone

Nicola Pirrone

Project Coordinator


Gruppo di lavoro


Andrea Algieri

Water-Flux Modelling

Sergio Cinnirella

GIS and Database

Mario Gensini

Project Management

Ian M. Hedgecock

Biogeochemical Modelling

Lucia Linsalata

Liaison Officer

Rosanna Mabilia

Organic Pollutants

Maria Orrico

Web Master and Dissemination Results

Francesca Sprovieri

Atmospheric Monitoring and Analytical Techniques

Gabriella Trombino

GIS and Database


Khaled A. Allam-Eldin

Modelling, GIS and Remote Sensing


Prof. Hassan El-Banna

Awad Head of Department, Project Co-ordinator

Prof. Ahmed A. El-Gindy

Physical Oceanography and Database

Prof. Osman A. El-Rayis

Atmospheric Monitoring and Biochemistry

Dr. Hoda H. El-Rashidy


Dr. Amany A. Ismael


Dr. Walid N. Younes

Biogeochemistry and analytical techniques

Dr. Ahmed M. Khadr

Geochemistry and coastal Geodynamics

Dr. Hanan M. Mitwally

Bottom fauna