MED MARINE LITTER : What impacts and What solutions?

«Mediterranean conference on the involvement of science and the socio-economic sector on marine litter issue»

Tunisia (Tunis), April 29 2021- The National Institute of Marine Sciences and Technologies (INSTM) official partner of the COMMON project funded by the European Union under the ENI CBC MED Programme organizes a virtual Mediterranean conference on the involvement of science and the socio-economic sector on marine litter issue entitled: ” MED Marine litter: What impacts and what solutions?

The conference will gather for two days (from 29 to 30 April) more than 20 speakers from  4 Mediterranean countries (Tunisia, Italy, Algeria, and Lebanon) coming from scientific sectors, public and private institutions, NGOs, and people working on marine litter in the Mediterranean basin.

This event aims to discuss the involvement of science and the socio-economic sector on the issue of marine litter, identify barriers, and propose solutions to reduce this global scourge.

 « The initiative stems from the need to gather experts around the Mediterranean from different sectors to discuss and share their respective experiences on marine litter issue.

Beyond the simple preview, we want to go even further with the COMMON conference. It will be about being able to create the necessary conditions for making concrete, responsible, and lastingly effective commitments through innovative solutions» declares Dr. Sana Ben Ismail Oceanographer at INSTM and COMMON project coordinator for the pilot area of Monastir.

 According to the UNEP / MAP report “Marine Litter Assessment in the Mediterranean – 2015”, 62 million pieces of debris are floating on the surface of the Mediterranean Sea, but this is only the tip of the iceberg: most marine litter is hidden in the seabed. What we see floating is only 0.5%, while over 70% of the debris is deposited on the seabed.

«Nowadays we live in a society where plastic is everywhere. It is a major and innovative challenge to gather all the stakeholders to rethink our relationship with this material and find technical, regulatory and behavioral solutions to make it less damaging to the environment» according to Pr. Hechmi Missaoui Director General of the INSTM.

We would like to remind that this conference is part of the activities of the COMMON project (COastal Management and Monitoring Network for tackling marine litter in Mediterranean sea), coordinated by the Italian NGO Legambiente which gather the National Institute of Marine Sciences and Technologies -INSTM (Tunisia), the University of Siena (Italy), the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari (Italy), the environmental NGO Amwaj (Lebanon), the University of Sousse (Tunisia) and the Tyre Nature Coast Reserve (Lebanon), in order to apply the principles of integrated coastal zone management (ICZM) to fight against marine litter, by improving knowledge of the phenomenon, and environmental performance in 5 pilot coastal zones: 2 in Italy, 2 in Tunisia and 1 in Lebanon. In Tunisia, the island of Kuriat and the coasts of Monastir are chosen as pilot sites.