The long awaited common policy framework for Mediterranean countries to tackle the problem of marine litter was finally adopted on the 4th of December 2013 at the 18th Ordinary Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean and its Protocols, organized by the UNEP/MAP Secretariat in Istanbul on 3-6 December, 2013.

MIO-ECSDE warmly welcomed the decision on the adoption of the Plan and within that context organized together with the Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association (HELMEPA) and in collaboration with the Catalan Waste Agency, ACR+ and UNEP/MAP MEDPOL a side event on “Tackling marine litter in the Mediterranean” (4 December 2013).

The event brought together some 40 participants who had the opportunity to be informed about major initiatives in the Mediterranean aiming to tackle marine litter and how these initiatives are contributing and/or supporting the implementation of the Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter Management in the Mediterranean. Furthermore, the potential to capitalize on the cutting edge outputs, best practices and lessons learned of these initiatives was explored with respect to the Plan, as well as on how these can be expanded and replicated in order serve the needs of other Mediterranean countries.

MIO-ECSDE Programme Officer, Thomais Vlachogianni, in her intervention stressed the key role of Civil Society in the implementation of the Regional Plan, including their contribution from awareness raising activities to concrete, comprehensive and continuous actions towards a litter – free Mediterranean. She presented three major initiatives tackling marine litter in the region where MIO-ECSDE is a key partner, namely the:

  • FP7 project “MARine LItter in Europe’s Seas: Social AwarenesS and CO-Responsibility (MARLISCO)” funded by the European Commission;
  • IPA Adriatic project Derelict Fishing Gear Management System in the Adriatic Region (DeFishGear) co-funded by the European Commission;
  • H2020 Capacity Building Mediterranean Environment Programme.

Find the event’s agenda here