The Mediterranean Sea is one of the most affected basins by marine litter, worldwide. Marine litter represents a pervasive and persistent problem that knows no boundaries. It has a negative impact on vital economic sectors such as fisheries, aquaculture, navigation, energy and tourism, while it may endanger human health and safety. Marine litter threatens species and habitats, with impacts varying from entanglement and ingestion, to bio-accumulation and bio-magnification of toxics released from litter items, facilitation of introduction of invasive species, damages to benthic habitats, etc. It has been acknowledged as a major threat in many Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) hampering the achievement of their conservation goals and MPA Managers lack the tools and knowledge to effectively address the issue at their level and prevent the problem from getting worse.

The ACT4LITTER is an Interreg Med funded project aiming to facilitate efforts for tackling marine litter in Mediterranean MPAs through effective and targeted measures towards reaching their conservation targets. MIO-ECSDE is a key partner of the project bringing its longstanding experience in research/policy/advocacy/awareness raising and networking on marine litter issues. MIO-ECSDE is leading the communication component of the project, as well as, the elaboration the MPA-specific management plans and the snapshot assessment of marine litter in Mediterranean MPAs.

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The ACT4LITTER project aims to facilitate efforts for tackling marine litter in Mediterranean MPAs through the development of effective and targeted measures towards reaching their conservation objectives via an ecosystem-based approach.
  • Identification of potential measures to address marine litter issues in Mediterranean MPAs, in particular those that promote prevention upstream;
  • Feasibility assessment of the identified measures to be implemented in the MPAs through the development of an appropriate decision-making model;
  • Development of 10 MPA-specific action plans for preventing and mitigating marine litter through a participatory approach;
  • Elaboration of a joint governance plan for improving marine litter management in Mediterranean MPAs through the integration of relevant lessons learnt.
  • Strengthened networking of Mediterranean MPAs in defining a common framework of measures to combat marine litter;
  • Improved management of Mediterranean MPAs through the definition of MPA-specific action plans towards good environmental status in the marine environment;
  • Enhanced implementation of the relevant policy frameworks such as the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive, the Barcelona Convention Regional Plan for Marine Litter Management in the Mediterranean, the Specially Protected Areas and Biological Diversity Protocol, etc.

  • Catalan Waste Agency – Regional Activity Center for Sustainable Consumption and Production (Spain)
  • Andalusian Institute of Technology (Spain)
  • Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies (Italy)
  • MedPAN – Network of Marine Protected Area Managers in the Mediterranean (France)
  • Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development (Greece)

Associate Partners

  • MerTerre / Observatoire des Déchets en Milieux Aquatiques (France)
  • Mediterranean Center for Environmental Monitoring (Montenegro)
  • Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona (Spain)
  • Shoreline (Italy)
  • Management Body of Samaria National Park (Greece)
  • Spanish Association of Marine Litter (Spain)
  • Consortium of Management of Portofino MPA (Italy)
  • City of San Benedetto del Tronto (Italy)
  • Public Institution Nature Park Lastovo Islands (Croatia)
  • Public Institute Landscape Park Strunjan (Slovenia)
  • Blue World Institute of Marine Research and Conservation (Croatia)
  • Regional Activity Centre for Specially Protected Areas
  • Association for Protection of Aquatic Wildlife of Albania (Albania)
  • Nice Cote D’Azur Metropole (France)
  • Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment (Cyprus)
  • Thermaikos Gulf Protected Areas Management Authority (former Axios – Loudias – Aliakmonas Management Authority)(Greece)
  • PlasticsEurope (Belgium)
  • Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment (Spain)
  • Public Institution National Park Kornati (Croatia)
  • French Agency for Marine Protected Areas (France)
  • City of Marseille (France)
  • Regional Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning of Andalusia (Spain)

Funding instrument: Interreg Mediterranean Programme

Thematic axis: Protecting and promoting Mediterranean natural and cultural resources

Objective: To maintain biodiversity and natural ecosystems through strengthening the management and networking of protected areas

Project duration: 1 February 2017 – 31 July 2018 (18 months)

Project budget: 599,496 €

For more info: Thomais Vlachogianni, MIO-ECSDE Programme Officer,
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