Regional experts discuss marine litter management in Miami

Miami, FL, USA | 18 - 19 October, 2018


The UN Environment Programme as Secretariat to the Cartagena Convention and the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (GCFI) with financial support from the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic (the ‘OSPAR Convention’) will be hosting a two day Regional Marine Litter Expert workshop from 18 to 19 October 2018 in Miami, Florida. This workshop is being convened within the regional framework of the Cartagena Convention Secretariat and the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute.  Funding is provided by the Governments of Sweden and the Netherlands.

The Marine Litter Workshop is being facilitated through a Regional Cooperation Agreement between the Secretariats of the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic (OSPAR) and the Cartagena Convention for the Protection and Development of the Wider Caribbean Region (CEP) as a contribution to fulfilling SDG14 #OceanAction17198 which was announced as one of Our Ocean Commitments by the Regional Seas Conventions.

The UN Environment Programme-Caribbean Environment Programme (UN Environment CEP) in collaboration with the GCFI have also established a Caribbean Regional Node for the Global Partnership on Marine Litter (GPML). The GPML is a cooperation between authorities, industry and civil society to address the issue of marine litter on a global scale, coordinated by UNEP.  GCFI has completed projects that surveyed stakeholders regarding their experience with marine debris to identify the existing local capacity to achieve marine litter control.  Subsequently, GCFI has managed projects on marine litter with local partners in several Caribbean countries with a resulting increase in the local capacity for marine litter control. Together, this enables them to work effectively together with CEP to achieve the objectives of the Global Partnership on Marine Litter,  the UNEP-CEP OSPAR Cooperation as well as The Marine Litter in the Wider Caribbean: A Regional Overview & Action Plan (RAPMaLi ) .

The issues of marine litter and conservation of marine protected areas are of common concern among the Regional Seas Programmes and the transboundary impacts are significant. The regional cooperation among Conventions is viewed as great benefit among the mutual Contracting Parties.

The majority of marine litter in the Caribbean region is from shoreline and recreational activities, with plastic beverage bottles accounting for nearly 20% of total litter. This underscores the need for comprehensive marine litter monitoring programmes to ensure continuous assessment of coastal areas and seas.

The workshop objectives are to  discuss best practices on harmonized monitoring strategies, assess the effectiveness of monitoring and propose arrangements for strengthening monitoring programmes as well as the management of marine litter data.

Regional and National Experts involved in the development and implementation of marine litter monitoring programmes as well as data collection, analysis and dissemination will be in attendance (see link to participants list).

Topics to be discussed include:-

  • Challenges and Opportunities for Marine Litter Monitoring in the Wider Caribbean Region
  • National and Regional Programmes/Initiatives for Monitoring Marine Litter in the Region
  • National and Regional Experiences in developing Marine Litter Data Base/Information Management System

Please see link to agenda and participants list for further details.

Among the additional project activities of the Regional Cooperation with the OSPAR Convention and the Cartagena Convention Secretariat’s through its Marine Biodiversity Protocol and the Pollution Protocol includes the following:

  • Data and Information Management:
  • CEP/ CaMPAM Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) Database refinement and enhancement
  • Enhancement of information content for ca 40 SPAW MPAs in the CEP/CaMPAM MPA database and EBM project
  • Public Awareness and Outreach:
  • Branding MPAs in Regional Seas networks
  • Special Session on Coral Reefs: MPAs, Fisheries, EBM, Pollution, Marine Litter: Lessons Learned and Sharing of Experiences (CLME+)
  • Capacity Building and Training:
    • Development of full size project proposal on MPA management capacity building
    • Harmonized approach to monitoring marine litter
    • Follow up/Building on Projects on Marine Litter/Microplastics through Marine - Litter Node - GCFI