Plastic Busters Project – Moving Forward in Siena

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On April 14 and 15 the University of Siena, Italy, hosted a meeting of the 15-member Plastic Busters Project consortium to evaluate past success and plan future work, including the partipation of the Mediterranean Centre of the ECNC Land & Sea Group.

Project highlights to date include receiving financial support from GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit), the unanimous endorsement of the initiative by the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), and achieving the prestigious UfM label in February 2016. The label qualifies the project as a viable initiative with distinct benefits for the citizens of the Euro-Mediterranean region.

The University of Siena and SDSN are grateful for this honor, which comes at a critical moment in the fight against marine litter, a high priority issue on both the Mediterranean and International stages. Two important UfM Ministerial Conferences marked this transformative period; one on Environment and Climate Change and another on the Blue Economy. Additional momentum was fuelled by the adoption of the Regional Plan on Marine Litter Management in the Mediterranean by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP). Important operational links with the H2020 Initiative for a Cleaner Mediterranean as well as with Sustainable Consumption and Production activities have also been established to promote the project. Furthermore, the issue of marine litter is being prominently featured in the G7 agenda.

The first day of the April meeting was devoted to the working modalities of the consortium, coordination between partners, a communication strategy, and different work streams of the project. A forward-looking fundraising strategy was discussed, along with potential supporting partners and cooperating projects identified.

The second day focused on how to best promote Plastic Busters, a flagship project of both SDSN Global and SDSN Mediterranean, more widely. In addition, the project was presented to potential donors, representatives of the Italian government, and European Commission bodies with concern for sustainable development and protection of marine resources.

During the meeting, Sweep-net and ANGED (Tunisia) shared their activities in the South Mediterranean (MENA Region) and possible collaboration points with the Plastic Busters project. Different stakeholders then took the lead in demonstrating potential funding opportunities for discussion among the consortium partners and the participants. 

PlasticBusters_factsheet-panel1-3Participants: All 15 consortium members of the Plastic Busters Project (UNEP/MAP, MIO-ECSDE, IFREMER, SOCIB, ISPRA, University of Sousse, IWRS, CNR, Consorzio LaMMA, HCMR, ISOTECH, Consorzio Mediterraneo, ECNC Land & Sea Group, University of Bologna, FispMed Network), Union for the Mediterranean, EC DG Research, Econnexions, SWEEP-Net, ANGED, Italian Navy, WWF Italy, Marevivo, EC DG MARE, EPI CBC Med Programme, Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, SAHFOS, GIZ, SCP/RAC.

PLASTIC-BUSTERS for a Mediterranean free from litter

Source: Union for the Mediterranean

The overall goal of the project is to effectively tackle the issue of marine litter in the Mediterranean. The project directly supports the implementation of the UNEP/MAP Regional Plan on Marine Litter Management in the Mediterranean, linking and contributing also to the global Honolulu Strategy framework for prevention and management of Marine Debris. The project is also in line with the recommendations of the UfM Ministerial Meeting on Environment and Climate Change (May 2014) and the UfM Ministerial on Blue Economy (November 2015).ECNC Land and Sea Group is one of the partners of this large initiative.

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Marine litter has become a major pollution problem affecting all of the world seas. Increased levels of marine litter originate largely from land based activities (~80%). This includes, in particular, inadequate urban solid waste management (collection, transportation, treatment and final disposal) negative impacts on human health, marine wildlife, marine ecological systems, beach quality, and navigational safety as well as fishing and maritime industries.

According to the European Environmental Agency (EEA), the average amount of municipal solid waste produced in the EU is 520 kg per person/year and is projected to increase to 680 kg per person/year by 2020. While solid waste generated in non‐EU Mediterranean countries is still approximately half the per capita level in the EU, waste generation in the southern Mediterranean region has grown approximately 15 % over the last decade; mostly due to a growing population and increased consumption.

Sound, shared scientific knowledge and coordinated and multi‐sectoral actions are therefore key in combating marine litter.

With a total budget of 8,8 M Euros over a 4-year period, the project will enable to assess the amount, sources, pathways, distribution convergence areas and effects of marine litter to better mitigate and reduce the impact of marine litter in the Mediterranean Sea. The nature and effects of plastic litter on the marine food chain, fisheries and fishing activities, as well as human health are still largely unknown and are important issues investigated within this project.

A series of concrete prevention and mitigation actions and approaches (e.g. fishing for litter; removal and collection of derelict fishing gear and establishing recycling mechanisms e.g. “Healthy Seas initiative”; establish return/deposit systems for packaging, etc.) are intended to be developed, tested and promoted during the project in several pilot areas in the Mediterranean basin. Following a ‘’life cycle thinking’’ and a circular economy approach, the project will also carry out a systemic evaluations of the feasibility, reliability and sustainability while involving relevant stakeholders such as port authorities, fishermen and municipalities.

The project further foresees a wide range of actions to enhance the awareness of stakeholders and promote change in their perceptions and attitudes towards waste.

The label delivered by the UfM is the recognition of the urgency to join forces towards a shared and coordinated regional approach to provide regional actions and solutions to this common problem. As underlined by the Barcelona Convention within the Regional Plan for Marine Litter (Istanbul 2013) “Marine pollution knows no border, pollution in one country affects all the others”.

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Call for Civil Society organisations: apply for our training programme in Lebanon and Morocco

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Do you want to play a bigger role in the transition to more sustainable ways of life? Are you a civil society actor looking to develop or reinforce your projects? Looking for the technical assistance you need to turn your ideas into reality? Are you looking to meet other actors working to promote a more sustainable approach to consumption and production?

If so, we invite you to participate to the SwitchMed Civil Society training programme. Our objective is to support social and ecological innovations by Civil Society Organizations (CSO) in the Mediterranean region. 

This is a unique opportunity for you to leverage the strategic know-how of SwitchMed, multiply the impact of your projects and guide them towards success.

LEBANON:

In Lebanon, this workshop will take place in Beirut, on February 19th-22nd, during an intensive 4-day workshop, in coordination with our local partner Green Line Association. You can apply before January 24th.

Get more informations about the programme in english and in arabic 

Apply here

MOROCCO:

In Morocco, this workshop will take place in Casablanca, on January 28th-31st, during an intensive 4-day workshop, in coordination with our local partner Association des enseignants des Sciences de la Vie et de la Terre au Maroc. You can apply before January 8th.

Apply here

We strongly recommend you to do it at the soonest.

Please note that this workshop is free of charge.

 

In the workshop, you’ll have the chance, for instance, to:

– Develop your ideas for ecological and social innovation.

– Discover the best ways to raise funds.

– Build or improve your communication plans.

– Receive legal guidance.

– Identify solutions for improving the governance of your organization.

– Exchange views with other pioneers in social and ecological innovation in highly participative discussion sessions.

After the training, 2 initiatives will be receiving further technical support.

We already launched a similar workshop in Tunisia. A successful and very interesting experience for all the participants! Discover it here.

Anna Lindh Foundation call for proposals 2015: supporting Education for Intercultural Citizenship and Intercultural Artistic Co-Productions

The Anna Lindh Foundation has launched a call for proposals to support projects in the fields of Education for Intercultural Citizenship and Intercultural Artistic Co-Productions.
The projects should be built upon a 1+1 partnership formula with at least one partner from a Southern Mediterranean country and at least one partner from a European country.
The overall financial envelope for this call is €1,000,000. Between 30 and 40 projects are expected to be awarded through the call. Grant amounts will vary from €25,000 to €35,000. The deadline to apply is 1 November 2015.
Applicants to this Call for Proposals must be accepted members of an ALF National Network prior to 20 January 2015.
The Anna Lindh Foundation for Inter-Cultural Dialogue promotes knowledge, mutual respect and inter-cultural dialogue between the people of the Euro-Mediterranean region, working through a network of more than 3,000 civil society organisations in 43 countries. Its budget is co-funded by the EU (€10 million) and the EU member states (€6 million).

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Anna Lindh Foundation: Prior information notice for Opinion Poll service contract in the Mediterranean

The Anna Lindh Foundation for the Dialogue between Cultures has launched an International Restricted Service Tender for the selection of a service provider to carry out an opinion poll in 2016.
The service provider should produce an Opinion Poll addressed to citizens of the countries of the Union for the Mediterranean and a related data analysis in line with the objective of the ALF programme to publish the third edition of the Anna Lindh Report on Intercultural Trends and Social Change in the Euro-Mediterranean region.
The indicative budget is €400,000 and the intended timing of publication of the contract notice is 30 September 2015.
The Anna Lindh Foundation for Inter-Cultural Dialogue promotes knowledge, mutual respect and inter-cultural dialogue between the people of the Euro-Mediterranean region, working through a network of more than 3,000 civil society organisations in 43 countries. Its budget is co-funded by the EU (€10 million) and the EU member states (€6 million). (EU Neighbourhood Info)
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