Project Profiles

Profiling Modular Projects for the Med Biodiversity Protection Knowledge Platform

Project name


Joint measures to preserve natural ecosystems from marine litter in Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas (MPA)


From topic categories: protected areas; marine litter; monitoring; governance; ecosystem approach; management;

Other keywords: marine litter measures; marine litter action plan; participatory science; coastal management; waste; pollution; decision making tool, marine litter watch month.


Partners: Catalan Waste Agency – SCP/RAC Regional Activity Centre for Sustainable Consumption and Production (leader);

Mediterranean Protected Areas Network – MedPAN;

Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development (MIO-ECSDE); SSSUP Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies

22 Associated partners:

MerTerre / Observatoire des Déchets en Milieux Aquatiques (France)

Mediterranean Center for Environmental Monitoring (Montenegro)

Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona (Spain)

Shoreline (Italy)

Management Body of Samaria National Park (Greece)

Spanish Association of Marine Litter (Spain)

Consortium of Management of Portofino MPA (Italy)

City of San Benedetto del Tronto (Italy)

Public Institution Nature Park Lastovo Islands (Croatia)

Public Institute Landscape Park Strunjan (Slovenia)

Blue World Institute of Marine Research and Conservation (Croatia)

Regional Activity Centre for Specially Protected Areas (Tunisia) Association for Protection of Aquatic Wildlife of Albania (Albania)

Nice Cote D’Azur Metropole (France)

Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment (Cyprus)

Axios – Loudias – Aliakmonas Management Authority (Greece) PlasticsEurope (Belgium)

Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment (Spain)

Public Institution National Park Kornati (Croatia)

French Agency for Marine Protected Areas (France)

City of Marseille (France)

Regional Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning of Andalusia (Spain)

Protected areas
  1. Karaburun-Sazani Island, Albania
  2. Kornati National Park, Croatia
  3. Espiguette Natura 2000, France
  4. Marine Natural Park of the Gulf of Lion, France
  5. Thermaikos Gulf Protected Areas Management Authority, Greece
  6. Mountain Parnon and Moustos wetland Natura 2000, Greece
  7. Schinias Marathon National Park, Greece
  8. Pelagie Islands MPA, Italy
  9. Shoreline – Miramare MPA, Italy
  10. Punta Campanella MPA, Italy
  11. Secche di Tor Paterno MPA, Italy
  12. Torre del Cerrano MPA, Italy
  13. Strunjan Landscape Park, Slovenia
  14. Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park/UNESCO Global Geopark – Andalucia, Spain
  15. Ebro Delta Nature Park, Spain
  16. Llevant de Mallorca-Cala Ratjada MPA – Balearic Islands, Spain
  17. Gökova Special Environmental Protection Area, Turkey
Related policies UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals; European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy; Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD); Barcelona Convention EcAp and IMAP; Barcelona Convention Regional Plan for Marine Litter in the Mediterranean
Key messages for protected area management

Each monitoring partner to provide at least 3 messages / recommendations stemming from the project results concerning the management of protected areas.

  • “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 MLWM serves as a useful blueprint for the setup of participatory-science campaigns
  • ACT4LITTER provided MPAs with a list of 100 showcases of marine litter measures to fed into the ACT4LITTER 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.

Quotes by MPA Managers:

The project deals with one of currently most actual threats of world’s seas. What is visible to our eyes is the peak of an iceberg and not just a beginning of the problems we are confronting. Until now in our area no systematic and targeted measures were taken in order to tackle marine litter. As MPA managers we gained project results and experiences which enables us to react quickly.”

Samanta Makovac from the Public Institute Landscape Park Strunjan, Slovenia.

“Since my very first encounter with ACT4LITTER project, I have been extremely curious about the decision making tool and how this could be applicable and helpful for our day-to-day operations within the Ebro Delta Natural Park. Initially this tool seemed too abstract for me to relate to, but now that I have seen some trial runs I am confident that this tool can empower us in taking more informed and effective decisions with regards to marine litter management priorities and ways to address them”

Mr. Xavier Abril, Ebro Delta Natural Park, Spain

Key messages for policy
  • 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
Key messages for science
  • “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 and
  • 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.

Key deliverables


  • METHODOLOGICAL APPROACH FOR THE ACT4LITTER PILOT ACTION “ACTION PLAN FOR MARINE LITTER IN MEDITERRANEAN MPAS” A quick guide for MPAs’ managers : This document is a quick guide that will lead MPA managers through a step-by-step process for elaborating their own marine litter action plan.
  • MARINE LITTER IN MEDITERRANEAN COASTAL AND MARINE PROTECTED AREAS HOW BAD IS IT? A snapshot assessment report on the amount, composition and sources of marine litter found on beaches : Consolidated results of MLWM editions
  • LIST OF SHOWCASES OF MARINE LITTER MEASURES: More than 100 identified measures grouped into 25 classes and fully mapped in order to provide valuable information with regards to their operationalization on the ground.
  • THE ‘DECISION MAKING TOOL’: The selected measures fed into the ACT4LITTER decision making tool, which helps MPA managers to identify the most effective measures for their specific context.
  • The ‘TOP 10 PRIORITY ACTIONS TO CURB MARINE LITTER IN MEDITERRANEAN MARINE PROTECTED AREAS’ A joint plan for action: The collective experience of the pilot MPAs sets the baseline for a common urgent response by Mediterranean MPAs to deal with the marine litter threat
  • ACT4LITTER Newsletters