Observatory for the Development of the Mediterranean, a tool for decision makers

“Kick-off meeting”: Malta, November 12th-14th, 2013

From 12th to 14th of November 2013, GID will organise a conference in Malta open to all countries bordering the Mediterranean, in order to initiate the process leading to the creation of the ODMED.

It will bring together about 60 to 80 people, with part of decision makers (from both public and private domains), users and existing or potential developers of the Mediterranean basin, and with part of representative scientists representative of marine stations and laboratories around the Mediterranean. Related sciences (climatology, atmospheric chemistry, hydrology, …) will be also represented as well as other communities with skills in line with the objectives of the Observatory (sociologists, economists, …)

The objective is to lay the groundwork for the establishment and operation of ODMED:
- Consistency of players: relationship between marine stations, laboratories, local and national authorities, companies, producers, associations, …
- Products and services: databases, standards, certifications, indicators, labels
- Organisation: tools, structures, vectors
- Modes of action and development, relationships with existing structures – networks, funding, training, …

This conference will lead to the formulation of strategy elements in the medium and long term, on a plan of action based on cooperation between local actors and the establishment of the functional structure of the ODMED.

More information and programme



Mediterranean Strategy for sustainable development follow-up: main indicators – 2013 update

Source: EMWIS

The “indicator” fact-sheets, carried out in the framework of the monitoring of the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development (MSSD), are intended to provide a first answer to the question: “Are the Mediterranean countries progressing towards sustainable development?”.

The factsheets concern the 34 priority indicators selected in MSSD to monitor the progress made by the Mediterranean countries regarding the main objectives defined for the nine priority issues:

  1. Improving integrated water resource and demand management;
  2. Managing energy demand and mitigate the effects of climate change;
  3. Ensuring sustainable mobility through appropriate transport management;
  4. Promoting sustainable tourism;
  5. Promoting sustainable agricultural and rural development;
  6. Promoting sustainable urban development;
  7. Promoting sustainable management of the sea and coastal areas and taking urgent action to put an end to the degradation of coastal zones;
  8. Strengthening solidarity, commitment and financing for a sustainable development at regional, national and local levels;
  9. Strengthening human capital and actors` involvement: research, training, education, awareness-raising and participation

Anthropogenic marine debris in the coastal environment: A multi-year comparison between coastal waters and local shores

Source: Marine Pollution Bulletin

M. Thiel, I.A. Hinojosa, L. Miranda, J.F. Pantoja, M.M. Rivadeneira, N. Vásquez, Anthropogenic marine debris in the coastal environment: A multi-year comparison between coastal waters and local shores, Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 71, Issues 1–2, 15 June 2013, Pages 307-316,
ISSN 0025-326X


Anthropogenic marine debris (AMD) is frequently studied on sandy beaches and occasionally in coastal waters, but links between these two environments have rarely been studied. High densities of AMD were found in coastal waters and on local shores of a large bay system in northern-central Chile. No seasonal pattern in AMD densities was found, but there was a trend of increasing densities over the entire study period. While plastics and Styrofoam were the most common types of AMD both on shores and in coastal waters, AMD composition differed slightly between the two environments. The results suggest that AMD from coastal waters are deposited on local shores, which over time accumulate all types of AMD. The types and the very low percentages of AMD with epibionts point to mostly local sources. Based on these results, it can be concluded that a reduction of AMD will require local solutions.

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Marine debris in central California: Quantifying type and abundance of beach litter in Monterey Bay, CA

Source: Marine Pollution Bulletin

C. Rosevelt, M. Los Huertos, C. Garza, H.M. Nevins, Marine debris in central California: Quantifying type and abundance of beach litter in Monterey Bay, CA, Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 71, Issues 1–2, 15 June 2013, Pages 299-306, ISSN 0025-326X


Monitoring beach litter is essential for reducing ecological threats towards humans and wildlife. In Monterey Bay, CA information on seasonal and spatial patterns is understudied. Central California’s coastal managers require reliable information on debris abundance, distribution, and type, to support policy aimed at reducing litter. We developed a survey method that allowed for trained citizen scientists to quantify the types and abundance of beach litter. Sampling occurred from July 2009–June 2010. Litter abundance ranged from 0.03 to 17.1 items m−2. Using a mixed model approach, we found season and location have the greatest effect on litter abundance. Styrofoam, the most numerically abundant item, made up 41% of the total amount of litter. Unexpected items included fertilizer pellets. The results of this study provide a baseline on the types and abundance of litter on the central coast and have directly supported policy banning Styrofoam take out containers from local municipalities.

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