Moving forward the Mediterranean Regional Cooperation Platform on Marine Litter

The second meeting of the Regional Cooperation Platform was held on 9-10 November 2017, in Barcelona (Spain), to review the progress achieved on the implementation of the Regional Plan on Marine Litter Management in the Mediterranean launched last year and led by UN Environment/ Mediterranean Action Plan.

Plastic bucket on beach

Representatives from 19 regional organizations and sub-regional actors from different sectors (academia, policy-making, industry, fisheries, research institutions, and NGO), including the IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation, explored potential synergies to maximize results and enhance the impact of action on the ground.

Participants reviewed the main activities carried out for the implementation of the Marine Litter med project during the June 2016 – November 2017 period, and other relevant activities and initiatives done by members and other invited institutions.

They also discussed the main priorities and needs for development of a joint Work Plan for 2018, as well as, ideas for improving the communication and visibility of this initiative through a regional node on marine litter.

IUCN-MED collaboration

Over the last years IUCN is increasing public awareness about the adverse effects of plastic pollution on marine organisms, fostering a sense of individual responsibility and encouraging government action and public initiatives for a reduction of the most severe impacts. Two examples of that are the recent publication about microplastics released from household and industrial products (car tyres, synthetic textiles, marine coatings, road markings, personal care products, plastic pellets …) worldwide; and the new report that explores national policies in EU Member States tackling marine plastic litter launched on 8 November at an event at the European Parliament.

In the Mediterranean, IUCN-Med has recently launched two new lines of work, one in collaboration with ACCOBAMS to identify all sources of marine plastic litter that affect marine biodiversity and study its impacts on some key species, and other to involve local governments from coastal areas on land-based strategies on plastic leakage- reduction solutions.

The Platform

This platform is a forum for consultation, exchange of good practices, and solutions seeking, it constitutes an opportunity for its members to supportively and complementarily provide concrete contributions and inputs to the implementation of the Regional Plan on Marine Litter Management in the Mediterranean. The main institutions that participate in this forum are the three regional centres of PAM of the Barcelona Convention (RAC/SPA, REMPEC, RAC/SCP), the European Environment Agency (AEMA), ACCOBAMS, German Cooperation Agency (GIZ), the General fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM), the University of Siena, Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association, MEDASSET, MIO-ECSDE, Plastic Europe, Waste free Oceans Foundation, Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change among others.

The Marine Litter MED is an EU-funded project implemented and coordinated by UN Environment/MAP, aiming to support the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention from the southern Mediterranean region to implement the Regional Plan on Marine Litter Management in the Mediterranean.

For further info: Marie Aude Sevin.

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