A panel of experts, policymakers and scientists convened on 2 December 2019 (13.00 – 15.00) on the sidelines of COP21 to discuss avenues for “a collective multi-stakeholder-driven Mediterranean response to marine litter”.
The speakers took stock of the activities and actions being implemented in the Mediterranean basin to consolidate the fight against marine litter and discussed what they regarded as required additional steps.
Mr. Gaetano Leone, UNEP/MAP—Barcelona Convention Secretariat Coordinator, opened the session referring to progress achieved in the implementation of the Regional Plan on Marine Litter Management in the Mediterranean: “with the support of the MAP system, 19 Contracting Parties have developed a National Action Plan; 20 pilot projects are underway and we have delivered a sensible amount of technical assistance, tools and guidelines”.
Salient points discussed at the side-event included:
- recent activities in Turkey and Algeria, including an initiative entitled “Zero Waste” that was implemented in 2017 in Turkey to protect the marine environment and support cleaning activities;
- the crucial role of civil society organizations in fighting marine litter;
- the need for a participatory approach based on reliable marine litter data;
- the importance of filling the data gaps that hamper effective implementation of essential measures to tackle marine litter;
- the crucial importance of bridging the gap between science and media in order to ensure that societal actors are provided with accurate and reliable information.
The Mediterranean is one of the most affected areas by marine litter in the world. As underlined in the Regional Plan on Marine Litter Management in the Mediterranean to Prevent and Eliminate Pollution, marine litter pollution knows no borders.