ACT4LITTERJoint measures to preserve natural ecosystems from marine litter in Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas (MPA)
The Mediterranean Sea is one of the most affected basins by marine litter, worldwide. Marine litter represents a pervasive and persistent problem that knows no boundaries. It has a negative impact on vital economic sectors such as fisheries, aquaculture, navigation, energy and tourism, while it may endanger human health and safety. Marine litter threatens species and habitats, with impacts varying from entanglement and ingestion, to bio-accumulation and bio-magnification of toxics released from litter items, facilitation of introduction of invasive species, damages to benthic habitats, etc. It has been acknowledged as a major threat in many Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) hampering the achievement of their conservation goals and MPA Managers lack the tools and knowledge to effectively address the issue at their level and prevent the problem from getting worse.
The ACT4LITTER project aims to facilitate efforts for tackling marine litter in Mediterranean MPAs through the development of effective and targeted measures towards reaching their conservation objectives via an ecosystem-based approach.
Catalan Waste Agency – SCP/RAC Regional Activity Centre for Sustainable Consumption and Production (Spain)
22 Associated partners
17 Pilot sites
- “Marine litter Watch Month (MLWM)” serves to build skills of the MPA managers on how to Monitor ML on beaches and to find more detailed and accurate information on the quantities, type and sources of ML through a standardized methodology;
- ACT4LITTER provided MPAs with a list of 100 showcases of marine litter measures to fed into the decision making tool, which helps MPA managers to identify the most effective measures for their context;
- ACT4LITTER developed, through a participatory methodology, 9 action plans, providing the necessary technical support for the implementation of the different phases of the identified pilot actions;
- There is opportunity to benefit from these efforts through the PLASTICBUSTERSMPA Interreg MED Project and the MedPan nework.
ACT4LITTER has identified priority measures to be undertaken at MPA level;
The collective experience of the pilot MPAs action plans is captured in a joint plan for action which aims to assist other MPA managers in the region to achieve their conservation goals;
This results will be scaled up through the Interreg Med Project PLASTICBUSTERS4MPA;
The way forward must go through forging partnerships for action that amplify the impact of the work of individual actors in government, civil society, scientific community, private sector, international organizations, so as to effectively promote reduction and prevention measures.
- “Marine litter Watch Month” is It is an effective tool to gather essential marine litter data; It provides valuable baseline information on the amounts and the full spectrum of marine litter deposited on the beaches of protected areas in the Mediterranean;
- MLWM It serves as a useful blueprint for the setup of participatory-science campaigns – understood as a method of undertaking scientific research where community groups and science professionals work together in a meaningful way on locally-relevant scientific research projects.