MARLICE 2022 | Focus on the Mediterranean: Pioneer science and actions on the field.

Friday 13 May 2022

MedWaves is taking part to the Mediterranean Session of MARLICE 2022 | 19 May 2022, 10-13h – Aquarium of Seville.
Hosted by the Mediterranean Biodiversity Protection Community of Interreg Mediterranean and the BeMed-Islands capitalization process.

The Mediterranean Sea is considered one of the regions of the world most affected by marine litter. Today, plastic represents 95 per cent of the waste floating in the Mediterranean and lying on its beaches (WWF, 2018). The Mediterranean Sea is turning into a dangerous plastic trap, with record levels of pollution from microplastics threatening marine species and human health. With 1 to 10 million plastic particles per square kilometre, it is probably the most polluted sea in the world. These concerns are even more worrying on island sites, limited in their space and with often large quantities of plastics waste and insufficient resources to set up complete sorting and recycling channels. Nevertheless, small islands remain resilient territories. Striving to propose solutions, from reduction to recycling, they are leaders of change. 

In order to have a long-term impact on marine waste reduction, the results of these solutions must be capitalised and shared. That is the aim of the collaborative work of the Interreg Mediterranean Biodiversity Protection Community (MBPC) and Beyond Plastic Med capitalisation process in islands (BeMed-Islands) that started several years ago and built on several previous exchanges.

This session at MARLICE 2022  aims at taking stock of the recommendations that were produced in previous collaborative work between MBPC and BeMed and to check whether there has been any progress in implementation. In particular, on 4 June 2021, as part of the EU Green Week, the Interreg Mediterranean Biodiversity Protection Community brought together scientists, decision-makers, NGOs, civil society and other interested stakeholder groups in an online workshop called “Mediterranean Pollution, Biodiversity and Health”. The objective of this workshop was to discuss how to enhance and strengthen existing efforts to reduce marine litter, and how to mitigate its impacts on marine biodiversity and health. A report was produced to present the key information highlighted during this workshop and the main conclusions and recommendations for achieving a cleaner and healthier Mediterranean.

  1. A healthy and functioning marine ecosystem is ESSENTIAL to biodiversity and for our socio-economic sustainability, health and overall wellbeing.
  2. Good COMMUNICATION between policy makers and scientists is a crucial requirement for developing policies and solutions to effectively address the marine litter problem.
  3. We have MORE TO LEARN about marine litter but it is clear  that we ALL contribute to the marine litter problem in the Mediterranean.
  4. We need synergies and HARMONISATION of knowledge and solutions among scientists to help identify knowledge gaps and to mitigate the impacts of marine litter.
  5. There is a need for a new GLOBAL treaty to tackle plastics to mobilise parallel actions at all levels (upstream and downstream) and across the ENTIRE PLASTIC LOOP – from extraction and production, to the use and post-use of plastic.
  6. The Mediterranean is a SHARED ECOREGION with immense natural capital; projects in need to converge efforts to apply a SYSTEMIC APPROACH to marine litter across the region.
  7. Decision-makers are not the only responsibles to prevent and reduce marine litter; we are ALL part of the problem and must ALL be part of the solution.
  8. It is never too little or too late to change our behaviour; we must all ACT NOW.

The objective of the session of 19 May 2022 is to bring together interested stakeholder groups to discuss how to enhance existing efforts to reduce littering, and better understand and mitigate its impacts on our marine biodiversity and health, with a focus on small islands. Participants will have the opportunity to share their experience and perspectives, which will help prioritise key recommendations, and learn about transferable practices from several initiatives ongoing in the region. Although this session focuses on marine litter management in the Mediterranean areas, other regions are welcome to attend to share their views and best practices.

The session will be organised in 2 lively roundtables giving the chance to attendants to share their views and experiences; 

  • the first one on latest advances on understanding the impacts and ways of monitoring marine litter, and 
  • the second one on unveiling pioneer actions in coastal areas and islands that prevent marine litter generation, including actions in the HORECA sector, market restrictions by public authorities, sea-based sources and waste management schemes.


The MedWaves team will take part in the discussion: Magali Outters (Team Leader – Policy Area) and Pedro Fernandez (Project Manager – Policy Area) will be on site in Seville and will share the latest contributions of the Beyond Plastic Med capitalisation process in islands (BeMed), to which MedWaves is partner and implementer.

The roundtable 2 “How bottom-up initiatives are contributing to the fulfillment of regional policies” will be moderated by Pedro Fernandez.

You can find the agenda here.