MARLICE 2019 – International forum on marine litter and circular economy

MARLICE 2019 – International forum on marine litter and circular economy

The international forum on marine litter will take place in Seville, Spain, on the 10-12 April 2019.

The Forum is conceived as a cross-sectoral and multi-stakeholder event to advance in the management of marine litter, gathering public authorities, research institutes, private sector and environmental organizations. Marine Litter is a man-made solid waste which, for various reasons, ends up abandoned in marine and coastal environments. It is considered as a proper global environmental challenge and one of the greatest threats to marine biodiversity by the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and the Convention of Biological Diversity of United Nations. Connectivity through ocean currents makes this a transboundary problem which needs cooperation between countries.

The Forum will serve as a platform for projects in the Mediterranean and Atlantic area to hold meetings as part of their actions, thus contributing with content to the sessions and promoting synergies between different sectors, countries and regions.

The Forum will be organised around four thematic blocks:

1. Governance: How are the regional action plans and national programs’ measures performing in terms of reducing marine litter? This theme aims at exploring contributions at regional and national level in tackling marine litter, as well as the cooperation with other stakeholders for achieving the objectives.
Proposed areas of work:
– Marine litter prevention measures in relation to marine conservation  policies..
– Regulatory frameworks addressing single-use plastics.
– Implementation of existing and upcoming regulations and policies.

2. Research: Which are the latest advances in the field of characterization, distribution, modeling, monitoring and assessment of impacts of macro and micro-litter. This theme will specially touch upon harmonized research approaches.
Proposed areas of work:
– State of the art of macro and micro-litter research: characterization, distribution, modeling and identification of hotspots.
– Fate of microplastics and microfibers and associated impact on the environment and health.
– Marine litter impact on biodiversity and related indicators

3. Circular economy and innovation: How can the circular economy play a substantial role in reducing marine litter? Product designers and waste managers have a crucial role in preventing marine litter, as well as consumers’ behavior. Emerging markets for recovered litter may be explored.
Proposed areas of work:
– The role of the private sector in the collection, recovery and valorization of marine litter.
– The potential value of litter in the market from the perspective of circular economy.
– Pioneering projects in restructuring production processes.
– The sectoral initiatives in waste reduction.
– The role of consumers in enabling the circular economy.
– Responsible consumption and behaviour.

4. Awareness, conservation and citizen science. 
Proposed areas of work:
– The role of citizens in generating information and finding solutions to the problem of marine litter.
– The contribution of citizen science to the conservation of marine ecosystems.
– Restoration of natural areas and recovery of litter through participatory activities.
– Education and awareness about marine litter.