Plastic Busters MPAs brought together more than 90 Mediterranean MPA managers and marine litter experts at its 1st capitalization event held online on the 17th of June 2021. The event served as a stepping stone towards a consolidated approach against marine litter in Mediterranean MPAs. It featured the project’s advances and achievements addressing the entire management cycle of marine litter, from monitoring and assessment to prevention and mitigation.
The event, organized by MIO-ECSDE, the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of the Republic of Croatia, SCP/RAC and UNISI, offered the opportunity for the latest policy and scientific advances with regards to marine litter in the region to be presented and for creating synergies and fostering exchanges among stakeholders active on the science-policy-society interface.
During the event it was highlighted that a lot of progress has been achieved in terms of tackling marine litter in the region; but yet there is still a lot that needs to be done in order to reach good environmental status in Mediterranean marine waters. The Plastic Busters MPAs partners have been working hard and after four years of project implementation they have a lot to show: the first comprehensive diagnosis of marine litter pollution in Mediterranean MPAs is almost ready to be published; 2 marine litter prevention and mitigation demos have been completed, 9 demos are in full-swing and 4 more are about to kick-off within the scope of the knowledge transferring activities of the project; a core set of Mediterranean MPA managers have been successfully trained to monitor and assess the presence and effects of marine litter in their MPAs.
As highlighted by Charis Dimitriadis, a Manager at the National Marine Park of Zakynthos (Greece), the Plastic Busters MPAs project has provided significant knowledge on the magnitude of the problem; increased the carrying capacity of the Park’s Management Body to monitor and assess the problem in terms of know-how, man power and equipment; has enabled them to design and operationalize tailored-made mitigation actions; and has concretely illustrated what joint efforts of MPA managers and researchers can achieve on the ground.
At the heart of the event lied the synergies that Plastic Busters MPAs has been vigorously building since day zero with the EU funded Water and Environment Support (WES) in the ENI Southern Neighbourhood Region and the ENI CBC Med COMMON projects by sharing resources, results and experiences and building bridges via shared expertise.
The event’s presentations are listed below:
Setting the scene
- EU policy advances on marine litter | Georg Hanke, JRC/MSFD TGML
- Barcelona Convention policy advances on marine litter | Christos Ioakeimidis, UNEP/MAP
- UfM policy advances on marine litter | Alessandra Sensi, UfM
The Plastic Busters MPAs results & achievements
- The Plastic Busters MPAs marine litter monitoring and assessment results | Cristina Fossi, UNISI
- The Plastic Busters MPAs local experiences on monitoring in the National Marine Park of Zakynthos | Charis Dimitriadis, National Marine Park of Zakynthos (Greece) & Katerina Tsangaris, HCMR
- The Plastic Busters MPAs marine litter prevention & mitigation demos | Thomais Vlachogianni, MIO-ECSDE
- The Plastic Busters MPAs local experiences on prevention and mitigation actions at Thermaikos Gulf Protected Areas | Anastasia Charitou, iSea, Thermaikos Gulf Protected Areas (Greece)
- The Plastic Busters MPAs local experiences on prevention and mitigation actions at Strunjan Landscape Park | Brina Knez, Strunjan Landscape Park (Slovenia)
Creating synergies & fostering exchanges