Our oceans and seas are increasingly becoming a waste dump. Plastic waste is floating in high quantities on the sea’s surface before it sinks to the bottom or degrades into micro-plastics. Marine habitats and coastlines worldwide are contaminated with man-made litter which can pose environmental, economic, health and aesthetic problems. It is widely recognized that marine litter is a global problem which requires international cooperation and involvement of different stakeholders at all levels.
Current knowledge allows and necessitates the elaboration of national, regional and global action plans to reduce and avoid marine litter. For this reason, the conference aimed to:
- Start filling in the obligation of Rio+20 through the facilitation and stimulation of cooperation between different stakeholders in order to stimulate the development of regional action plans.
- Be the European contribution to the Honolulu strategy as the global approach on what possible measures and actions to take in order to tackle the problem.
- Bring existing and planned marine litter initiatives to the attention of a wider audience, including politicians by providing a platform to collect and share good practices and commitments.
- Support information exchange amongst Member States and a coherent implementation of the MSFD on European level in order to combat litter pollution of marine waters. Focus will be laid on the identification and implementation of programs of measures in 2015/2016 by MS as required for the further implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD).
The Organizing Committee consisted of the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA), the European Commission DG Environment/D2 and the Regional Seas Conventions. The results of the conference was brought to the attention of the Marine and Water Directors of the EU Member States at their meeting in Ireland in May 2013.
10.04.2013 - 12.04.2013