Marine litter experts at roundtable, Blue Eco Forum, Barcelona

25th November 2016

Find out about the program and more here

Call for application for the Erasmus Mundus Master Course on Maritime Spatial Planning 2017/2019

The two-years English-taught master course is delivered by the University Iuav of Venice (coordinator), University of Azores and University of Seville, supported by a MSP Consortium of 10 Public and Private Institutions from worldwide. EUCC Mediterranean Centre is associated partner in this initiative.

The New deadline for students application is on the 23rd January 2017.

We would like to kindly ask you if you could disseminate the call for application amoung students or networks that might be interested.

SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE.

For more information about program layout, MSP Consortium and opportunities to be part of it, application procedure, student services, financial info and scholars application, please visit the website:
http://www.iuav.it/Didattica1/master/master—I1/Erasmus-Mu/index.htm
http://www.iuav.it/Didattica1/master/master—I1/Erasmus-Mu/APPLICATIO/applicatio/

INFO AND CONTACTS: erasmusmundus.msp@iuav.it

Mesa redonda sobre basuras marinas, Blue Eco Forum, Barcelona

diapositiva11¿Son suficientes los conocimientos alcanzados y las medidas tomadas en los últimos años para avanzar hacia un buen estado ambiental con respecto a la basura marina en el mar Mediterráneo?

Mesa redonda con intervenciones de un grupo interdisciplinar de expertos seguidas de un debate con el público.

Organiza: Centro Mediterráneo EUCC

Lugar y hora: Museo Marítimo de Barcelona de 14h a 16h

Idioma: Castellano / Ingles (Traducción simultánea)

Esta mesa organizada con ocasión del Blue Eco Forum es una oportunidad para resumir y repasar los avances en el conocimiento científico y en el desarrollo de instrumentos para tratar la basura marina en el Mediterráneo desde la entrada en vigor de políticas vinculantes a nivel mediterráneo y europeo. El objetivo final es evaluar dónde están las principales lagunas que deben ser abordadas urgentemente por la ciencia y la política para alcanzar un Buen Estado Ambiental.

La basura en el mar abarca desde grandes redes de pesca a basura microscópica, a menudo resultado de la fragmentación gradual de otros objetos. Siempre presentes en nuestra vida diaria, los objetos de plástico son también la fracción predominante de basura marina. La basura marina es resultado de nuestro paradigma actual en el uso lineal de recursos y nuestra incapacidad para gestionar adecuadamente el gran volumen de residuos que produce. Es un reto para la sociedad y para nuestro sistema económico y político: reducir el daño de la basura marina a nuestros océanos y bienestar con mayor eficacia y sin demora.

A nivel mundial, el PNUMA y sus socios reconocieron el desafío con el lanzamiento en 2012, durante la Conferencia Río + 20, de una iniciativa mundial sobre basuras marinas. En este contexto las partes contratantes del Plan de Acción para el Mediterráneo (PAM/PNUMA) adoptaron en 2014 un “Plan Regional sobre la gestión de los desechos marinos en el Mediterráneo que es un instrumento jurídicamente vinculante. El proceso EcAp (enfoque eco-sistémico) del MAP nutre este proceso.

La Comisión Europea desempeña un importante papel impulsando la investigación y el desarrollo de políticas orientadas hacia la solución. Existe una conciencia creciente acerca del problema de las basuras marinas, que condujo a su inclusión como descriptor independiente en la Directiva Marco de Estrategias Marinas (DMEM) en 2008. Según la Directiva, se ha de alcanzar un Buen Estado Ambientar (BEA) en relación a las basuras marinas en el año 2020, lo que significa que ‘ Las propiedades y las cantidades de desechos marinos no resultan nocivas para el medio litoral y el medio marino”. Con ese fin los Estados Miembro se embarcaron en una evaluación inicial del estado del medio marino, se pusieron en marcha programas de seguimiento y se están adoptando programas de medidas para su reducción.

El conocimiento científico ha de apuntalar el proceso y se han hecho grandes esfuerzos para la obtención de datos sobre cantidades, tipos, distribución, fuentes, efectos físicos, químicos y biológicos, entre otros, con el fin de poder establecer valores de referencia, objetivos e indicadores para para ser capaces de definir medidas efectivas y cuantificar el progreso hacia unos océanos libres de basuras.

 

Programa:

Modera: Carolina Pérez, Centro Mediterráneo EUCC

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Con una larga trayectoria en proyectos y estudios de políticas litorales y marinas en Europa y el Mediterráneo, Carolina ha colaborado con buen número de actores a nivel estatal y regional en el ámbito del seguimiento, prevención y gestión de las basuras marinas. En este campo, ha trabajado en proyectos de investigación europeos como CleanSea (FP7) y en proyectos de apoyo a los estados miembro en la puesta en marcha de las Estrategias Marinas.

 

¿Tenemos conocimientos suficientes? ¿Dónde están las brechas más urgentes?

maria-ferreiraMaria Ferreira, Coastal & Marine Union-EUCC; Secretariado del Grupo Técnico para Basuras Marinas de la UE

  • Últimos avances en la labor del Grupo Técnico;
  • Viabilidad de una metodología para evaluar el “daño”
  • Metodologías estandarizadas para identificar fuentes de basura marina

 

foto-sarda-263x295Rafael Sardà, Centro de Estudios Avanzados de Blanes (CEAB), CSIC:

  • Basuras marinas en el Mediterráneo, cantidades, composición, distribución y zonas de acumulación
  • Brechas de conocimiento más urgentes de abordar

 

CleanSea Amsterdam low resolution-25

Pedro Fernández, Centro Mediterráneo EUCC:

  • Principales hallazgos y recomendaciones del proyecto FP7 de la UE CleanSea, dedicado a la investigación interdisciplinaria para mejorar la comprensión de los impactos de la basura marina, proporcionar herramientas para su seguimiento y generar ideas para formular medidas eficaces.

 

¿Son suficientes y adecuadas las políticas e instrumentos existentes? ¿Qué queda por hacer?

magali-outters-1Magali Outters, Centro de Actividad Regional para el Consumo y la Producción Sostenibles (SCP / RAC), PAM / PNUMA:

  • Estado de implementación del Plan Regional de gestión de basuras marinas
  • Medidas preventivas apoya especialmente el SCP RAC y principales retos en un futuro próximo

img_1531Marta Martínez-Gil, División para la Protección del Mar, MAPAMA):

  • La implementación española de las obligaciones marcadas por Directiva europea y PAM/PNUMA.
  • Estatus del programa de medidas para las basuras marinas y siguientes pasos

 

 

ann-dom-pic2Ann Dom, Seas At Risk:

 

  • Efectividad de la acción de la sociedad civil para presionar por instrumentos políticos eficaces: Logros, objetivos y barreras

mvtMaría Vidal i Tarrasón , Agencia de residuos de Cataluña:

  • Papel de los gobiernos regionales en la aplicación de estas políticas y necesidades para cubrirlas
  • Experiencia catalana y próximas iniciativas para este fin

enrique-agbarEnrique Gutiérrez, Aigües de Barcelona:

  • Actuación a nivel local para controlar las vías de entrada de basuras marinas
  • Gestión del saneamiento en Barcelona y área metropolitana

Discusión y conclusiones

Marine litter Round Table at Blue Eco Forum, Barcelona

diapositiva1Where are we as to knowledge and instruments to achieve Good Environmental Status regarding Marine litter in the Mediterranean Sea?

Organized by EUCC Mediterranean Centre

Date: Friday 25th November, 14h – 16h
Venue: Maritime Museum, Barcelona
Language: Spanish and English (simultaneous translation)


This
workshop is an opportunity to wrap up the gains on scientific knowledge and on policy instruments to address marine litter in the Mediterranean since the entry into force of the policies and instruments. The final objective is to assess where the key gaps are which need to be urgently addressed by science and policy to reach GES. This workshop takes place within the Blue Eco Forum.

Litter found in the sea can range from large fishing nets to microscopic-sized litter, often resulting from gradual fragmentation of bigger items. Marine litter is a consequence of our current paradigm of linear use of resources and our inability to fully deal with the volume of waste this produces. It presents a challenge to society and to our economic and political systems to mitigate marine litter damage to our oceans and welfare much more effectively and without delay.

At a global level, UNEP and partners acknowledged the challenge launching on 2012, at the Rio+20 conference, a global initiative on marine litter. In this framework the UNEP Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP) Contracting Parties adopted in 2014 an Action Plan for Marine Litter abatement which is a legally binding instrument. The UNEP MAP Ecosystem Approach process is feeding of knowledge and data this process.

The European Commission is playing an active role through marine litter research and policies directed towards solution. There clearly is an increasing awareness about marine litter, which led to the inclusion of marine litter as a separate descriptor within the 2008 Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). According to the MSFD, Good Environmental Status (GES) for marine litter should be reached in 2020, meaning that ‘the properties and quantities of marine litter do not cause harm to the coastal and marine environment’. For doing so, EU member states embarked on an initial assessment of the state of the marine environment regarding marine litter, put in place monitoring programmes and are adopting programmes of measures for its abatement.

Scientific knowledge is underpinning the process and efforts have been placed on gaining data on quantities, types, distribution, sources, physical and chemical impacts, and so forth in order to be able to set baselines, targets and indicators to quantify progress to litter free seas and oceans and to define effective measures.


Program

Round table with experts interventions followed by a debate with the public.

CPMarch2015

Introduced and moderated by Carolina Pérez, EUCC Mediterranean Centre

Carolina counts with a long-standing experience with coastal and marine policy studies and projects in Europe and has collaborated with a wide range of stakeholders at national and regional level in the field of monitoring, preventing and management of marine litter. Her experience record includes among others leading the communication component of the EU FP7 project CleanSea and acting as regional partner on an EU  support project on MSFD implementation in the Mediterranean related to monitoring programs and programs of measures with especial focus on marine litter.

Do we have sufficient knowledge? Where are the most urgent gaps?

Maria Ferreira.jpegMaria Ferreira, Coastal & Marine Union-EUCC; member of the Secretariat of the EU MSFD Technical Group Marine Litter)

  • Latest progresses on the work of the Technical Group ML
  • Methodologie to assess “harm” and identify marine litter sources

foto-sarda-263x295Rafael Sardà, Centro de Estudios Avanzados de Blanes (CEAB), CSIC

  • Current knowledge on marine litter amounts, composition, distribution and hotspots in the Mediterranean
  • Urgent knowledge gaps to address

 

CleanSea Amsterdam low resolution-25

Pedro Fernández, EUCC Mediterranean Centre

  • Key findings and recommendations from the interdisciplinar research in PF7 project CleanSea

Are existing policy and instruments adequate? What are we still lacking?

magali-outters-1Magali Outters, Regional Activity Centre for Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP/RAC), UNEP MAP

  • Status of implementation of the Regional Plan
  • Preventive measures pursued by  SCP RAC and main challenges

img_1531

Marta Martínez-Gil, División para la Protección del Mar, MAPAMA

  • Status of Spanish implementation of EU and UNEP MAP obligations.
  • Measuring the effectiveness and next steps

 

ann-dom-pic2Ann Dom, Seas at Risk

 

  • Civil society organisations lobbying for policy instruments at the EU level
  • Major achievements and barriers, next targets

 

mvtMaria Vidal i Tarrasón, Catalan Waste Agency

  • Role of regional governments implementing these policies
  • Catalan experience and the upcoming initiatives to this end

 

enrique-agbarEnrique Gutíerrez, Aigües de Barcelona

  • Local action to control marine litter input
  • Sewage system management in Barcelona and metropolitan area

Estimated 1 455 tonnes of plastic floating in the Mediterranean

Source: Science for Environment Policy

A rough total of 1 455 tonnes of floating plastic is present across the Mediterranean, estimates a new study. Researchers gathered floating plastics using trawl nets and found that microplastics with a surface area of around 1 square milimetre (mm2) were the most abundant size of plastic particles found.

Plastics are among the most commonly used materials and, as a result, plastic waste is found throughout the marine environment. It has been estimated that 4.8–12.7 million tonnes of plastic were released into oceans worldwide in 2010. Plastics can have a number of impacts on marine ecosystems, including entanglement of and ingestion by wildlife, and can accumulate through the food chain. Micro-plastics are particularly harmful to marine animals due to their small size and ability to adsorb other pollutants. Plastics can also have adverse impacts on human health and industry, affecting tourism, fishing and aquaculture.

This study examined the size, distribution and abundance of floating plastics within the north-western and central Mediterranean Sea, in accordance with established classifications under the European Union Marine Strategy Framework Directive1 (MSFD). The Mediterranean Sea has a population of approximately 100 million people living within 10 km of the coastline, giving high potential for plastic accumulation.

The researchers used a trawl with a mesh size of 333 µm net to collect plastics from the surface of the water across four Mediterranean regional seas (the Sea of Sardinia, the Tyrrhenian Sea, the Ionian Sea and the Adriatic Sea). Plastics were divided into three size categories: microplastics (less than 5 mm), mesoplastics (5–25 mm) and macroplastics (25–1 000 mm).

The plastics were dried and weighed, and for each of the 71 trawls, the researchers recorded the plastic weight concentration in grams of dryweight per square kilometre (g dw km−2) and plastic particle concentration as the number of plastic items per square kilometre (items km−2).

A total of 17 495 items were collected within the trawl samples, including 16 719 microplastics, 691 mesoplastics and 85 macroplastics. Plastics made up almost 97% of the manmade debris found and were in all 71 samples. Weight concentration ranged from 7.43 to 9292.24 g dw km-2. Particle concentration ranged from 8 999 to 1 164 403 items km−2. Microplastics with a surface area of around 1 mm2 were the most abundant particle size found.

The highest particle concentration by weight was found in the Gulf of Taranto in the Ionian Sea (9 298.2 g dw km−2) and the highest concentration by particles was found between the Greek Islands of Antipaxi and Lefkada (1 164 403 items km−2). Assuming that the range of concentrations of plastic in the sampled areas is similar across the entire region, the researchers give a rough estimate of 1 455 tonnes of floating plastic within the Mediterranean.

In contrast to other seas, the high variability of surface currents in the Mediterranean means that concentrations of plastic are less stable and less likely to remain in set locations. However, the researchers identified four potential areas of plastic accumulation due to currents and other factors, such as coastal populations, tourism and plastic washing into the sea from rivers. These areas are the Otranto Strait, the northern coast of Sicily, the Ionian Islands and the Menorca Channel.

The study is one of the first large-scale surveys of plastic waste in the Mediterranean. The researchers say that the issue of floating plastic waste is likely to get worse as increases in global plastic production, inadequate waste-management systems and human behaviour all contribute to the problem. Measures to increase social awareness and efforts to reduce the release of plastic waste into the oceans are, therefore, recommended.

Source: Ruiz-Orejón, L.F., Sardá, R., Ramis-Pujol, J. (2016). Floating plastic debris in the Central and Western Mediterranean Sea. Marine Environmental Research, 120: 136-144. DOI: 10.1016/j.marenvres.2016.08.001.

Contact: luisf.ruizorejon@ceab.csic.es

 

Morocco’s Blue Belt Initiative to boost Coastal Resilience to Climate Change launched at COP 22

By Magdalena A K Muir, Advisory Board Member, Climate and Global Change, EUCC
On the occasion of this COP, Morocco will confirm its support for the initiatives relating to the oceans which have been already launched and will launch a new initiative called ‘the Blue Belt’, aimed at increasing the resilience of coastal populations as well as promoting sustainable fishing activities, HRH Princess Lalla Hasnaa, Ambassador of the Coast, said in a speech during the opening ceremony, which was attended by several personalities sar-la-princesse-lalla-hasnaa-ouverture-journc3a9e-de28099action-des-occ3a9ans_g-ecologyincluding HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco.

“On the occasion of the COP22, the Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection will join the Blue Belt,” HRH Princess Lalla Hasnaa announced. “Building on its experience in the sustainable development of three Moroccan wetlands located on the Mediterranean and the Atlantic coasts, the Foundation will take part in the creation of marine protected areas,” HRH the Princess added.
The day dedicated to the oceans at the COP22 “marks a historic turning point” as the oceans are part of the Global Climate Action Agenda, which reinforces Goal 14 of Sustainable Development, HRH Princess Lalla Hasnaa pointed out.
Morocco has always been sensitive to the importance of the oceans on various levels, HRH the Princess said, noting that HM King Mohammed VI has made environmental protection one of the pillars of public policies, development strategies and the regional and international commitments of the Kingdom.
HRH Princess Lalla Hasnaa highlighted the role played by the Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection in raising awareness of the importance of preserving the oceans, adding that the foundation outlined since its inception 15 years ago five priorities, including the protection of coastal areas.
HRH Princess Lalla Hasnaa cited in this context actions implemented by the foundation in this area, including educational programs for children and the youth, the organization of a coast week and the Lalla Hasnaa Sustainable Coast Awards, which aim at promoting original and innovative projects for the coast.
The opening ceremony of the Oceans Action Day was attended by minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Aziz Akhannouch, French Minister of the Environment, Energy and the Sea, President of the COP 21, Ségolène Royal, European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, and FAO Deputy Director-General for Natural Resources Maria Helena Semedo.

Further information:
The ‘Blue Belt’, Morocco’s Initiative to Boost Coastal Resilience to Climate Change

The ‘Blue Belt’, Morocco’s Initiative to Boost Coastal Resilience to Climate Change

PRINCESS LALLA HASNAA CHAIRS OPENING CEREMONY OF OCEANS ACTION DAYhttp://mapecology.ma/en/slider-en/hrh-princess-lalla-hasnaa-chairs-in-marrakech-opening-ceremony-of-oceans-action-day-at-cop22/

Africa News- Road to COP22: Blue Belt initiative of Agadir, including video

Increasing temperatures, rising sea levels and ocean acidification amplify extremes of climate change. Finding a solution to minimise the impact on coastal areas has become a priority. As part of our series “Road to Cop 22” we’re in Moroccan city of Agadir to find out more about the Blue Belt initiative.” The Blue Belt initiative stemmed from the Blue Growth concept, launched by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation in 2013. It aims to encourage sustainable fishing, from seas and lakes to consumers’ plates, to allow marine resources to renew themselves. Better fishing practices lead to less food waste.
http://www.africanews.com/2016/10/26/road-to-cop22-blue-belt-initiative-of-agadir/

SAR la Princesse Lalla Hasnaa préside à Marrakech la cérémonie d’ouverture de la journée d’action des océans

Son Altesse Royale la Princesse Lalla Hasnaa, présidente de la Fondation Mohammed VI pour la protection de l’environnement, a présidé, samedi 12 novembre 2016 à Marrakech, la cérémonie d’ouverture de la journée d’action des océans, organisée dans le cadre de la 22ème Conférence des parties à la convention-cadre des Nations unies sur les changements climatiques.

whatsapp-image-2016-11-12-at-10-49-20-1600x720

“Le Maroc, à l’occasion de la présente COP, confirmera son soutien aux initiatives en lien avec les océans déjà lancées et initiera une nouvelle initiative “la ceinture bleue”, visant à développer la résilience des communautés côtières ainsi que des activités de pêche durables”, a indiqué Son Altesse Royale, ambassadeur de la côte, qui prononçait une allocution lors de cette cérémonie marquée par la participation de plusieurs personnalités, notamment de SAS le Prince Albert II de Monaco.

“A l’occasion de la COP22, la Fondation Mohammed VI pour la protection de l’environnement rejoindra ‘la ceinture bleue’”, a annoncé SAR la Princesse Lalla Hasnaa.

“Mettant à profit son expérience dans le développement durable de trois zones humides marocaines situées sur les façades méditerranéennes ou atlantiques, elle (la FM6) participera à la création d’aires marines protégées”, a fait savoir Son Altesse Royale.

La journée thématique consacrée aux océans dans le cadre de la COP22 “marque un tournant historique” puisqu’elle est l’inscription officielle des océans dans l’agenda global pour l’action climatique, confortant le 14ème objectif de développement durable, a souligné SAR la Princesse Lalla Hasnaa.

Le Maroc a toujours été sensible à l’importance des océans sur divers plans, a rappelé SAR la Princesse Lalla Hasnaa, relevant que SM le Roi Mohammed VI a fait de la protection de l’environnement l’un des piliers des politiques publiques, des stratégies de développement et des engagements régionaux ou internationaux du Royaume.

Son Altesse Royale a mis en exergue le rôle de la Fondation Mohammed VI pour la protection de l’environnement dans la sensibilisation à l’importance de préserver les océans, qui, dès sa création il y a 15 ans, a inscrit la protection du littoral comme l’une de ses cinq priorités, à travers ses programmes d’éducation ciblant les enfants et les jeunes, l’organisation de la semaine du littoral, dédiée à la vulgarisation scientifique, et le décernement des trophées « Lalla Hasnaa Littoral durable” qui couronnent les initiatives exemplaires et les travaux de recherche novateurs dans le domaine de la protection de l’environnement.

La cérémonie d’ouverture de la journée d’action sur les océans a été marquée par la participation du ministre de l’Agriculture et de la pêche maritime, Aziz Akhannouch, de la ministre française de l’Environnement, de l’énergie et de la mer, présidente de la COP21, Ségolène Royal, du commissaire européen à l’Environnement, Karmenu Vella et de la directrice générale adjointe de la FAO, Maria Helena Somedo.