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)

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.


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


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


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

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