In an effort to combat marine litter and promote sustainable coastal management, the Plastic Busters CAP project hosted a workshop for integrating marine litter into local and national planning. The event took place on 20 September 2023 in Tunis and was organized by the National Institute of Marine Sciences and Technologies of Tunisia (INSTM), in partnership with the Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development (MIO-ECSDE) and the University of Siena (UNISI).

The technical workshop brought together over 40 influential stakeholders, including policy-makers, decision-makers, advisors representing various governance levels, as well as representatives from environmental NGOs and research institutes. Its primary objective was to foster collaboration and enhance the science-policy-society interface. At the heart of this workshop was a pivotal goal: to identify recommendations for a marine litter management approach that combines Ecosystem-Based Management (EbM) with Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM).

The key recommendations arising from this workshop will serve as the cornerstone for the development of the Plastic Busters CAP roadmap, aimed at achieving a litter-free Mediterranean. This roadmap will play a constructive role in reinforcing the implementation of the Barcelona Convention Regional Plan for Marine Litter Management in the Mediterranean.

One of the workshop’s highlights was the collective elaboration and signing of a joint commitment by the participants. This commitment signifies a resounding dedication to mainstreaming marine litter into local and national planning, marking a significant step towards a litter-free Mediterranean.

Additionally, the Plastic Busters CAP workshop was held back-to-back with a Plastic Busters CAP online meeting organized by LEGAMBIENTE. This online meeting targeted the Coastal Cities Network for a litter-free Mediterranean, further strengthening the engagement of local authorities and communities in the fight against marine litter. It ensured that local governance perspectives were effectively incorporated into the technical workshop’s discussions, enriching the outcomes.

In our collective pursuit of a litter-free Mediterranean, this workshop and the subsequent commitments made will be instrumental,” says Prof. Maria Cristina Fossi (UNISI), coordinator of the project. “By fostering collaboration among stakeholders at all levels, we are taking a significant stride towards a healthier and more sustainable future for our beloved Mediterranean Sea.

The Plastic Busters CAP workshop for integrating marine litter into local and national planning was organized within the framework of the UfM-labelled ENI CBC Plastic Busters CAP project.

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