Session Chairs: Nina van Toulon, Indonesian Waste Platform; Jella Kandziora, Freelancer

The creation of marine networks is of utmost importance as they offer a framework to evaluate strategies, share information and join efforts to tackle marine debris and reach Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14.

Marine debris is one of the most challenging problems of the 21st century. Due to its complexity multiple measures are needed at various scales and targeting different audiences worldwide. Stakeholders from all sectors need to collaborate. In order to tackle marine debris national and international networks based on a collective impact approach (CIA) are required. Through this framework it is possible to coordinate work, evaluate strategies, share information, build collaborations between all relevant stakeholders and above all focus their efforts towards the prevention and reduction of marine debris.

The Indonesian Waste Platform, founded in October 2015, is a hub connecting stakeholders from government, industry, academia and grass roots/community initiatives IWP hub shows exemplary how collective impact not only works in practice on national level but could also serve as a global model.

The aim of the session is to present existing marine debris networks (i.e. Indonesian Waste Platform, African Marine Waste Network etc.) and their bottom-up approaches to connect stakeholders from all sectors as well as to promote the forming of a common shared vision, strategy and action plans. At the end of the session the awareness regarding the important role of a marine debris network in the context of reaching SDG 14 shall be increased. Furthermore, possible solutions to challenges like the lack of funding shall be discussed.



Indonesian Waste Platform – promoting and facilitating cross-sector collaborations to tackle marine debris

presenting: Jella Kandziora (Freelancer, Germany); authors: Jella Kandziora (Freelancer, Germany)

Indonesia belongs to one of the countries with highest waste inputs into the sea worldwide. Due to growing household consumption and accelerated business activities marine litter already is and will pose a mounting challenge in Indonesia. In order to tackle marine debris impacts the building of an Indonesian waste stakeholder network started in 2010 and led to the foundation of the Indonesian Waste Platform (IWP) in 2015. IWP is a marine debris network and a country hub promoting and facilitating cross-sector collaboration as well as the need for a common-shared vision, strategy, and action. The hub is a waste think tank, which is coordinated by Nina van Toulon, three other hubmanager and a team of experts from all sectors and regions who share their knowledge as voluntary contribution. The aim of IWP is to function as a backbone organization, promote synergies between existing programs and to support the dissemination of stakeholder engagement in Indonesia´s Plan of Action on Marine Plastic Debris 2017 – 2025 in collaboration with the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Ministry of Environment and Forestry.

Its activities are based on a collective approach. The hub is constantly in motion, responding to stakeholders’ requirements, following latest developments and act on that. Current activities include monitoring and data collection aiming at introducing a marine debris tracker and continued collaboration with other country hubs. By presenting IWP we also want to call attention on one of the main obstacles of marine debris networks and country hubs: sufficient funding.


Portuguese Marine Litter Association – promoting marine litter outreach, awareness and collaborative work among stakeholders

presenting: Paula Sobral (APLM, Portugal); authors: Patricia Louro (Portuguese Marine Litter Association, Portugal), Joao Frias (APLM), Flávia Silva (APLM), Sofia Quaresma (APLM), Paula Sobral (APLM)

Since its establishment in 2013, that the Portuguese Marine Litter Association (APLM) has been working to increase public knowledge about ocean literacy including marine litter and thus contribute to prevent and reduce its hazardous effects and impacts that affect the global environment.

Several actions have been carried out to disseminate the issue of marine litter, particularly: outreach and awareness-raising campaigns to prevent beach littering; reducing the use of single-use plastic bags in supermarkets and also information about microbeads in cosmetics. Other initiatives include riverine and beach cleanup actions; participation in workshops, seminars, exhibitions, social media and video reporting events; collaboration with public and private entities; technical support at schools and communities and developing pilot projects with fisherman and fishing industries, amongst other initiatives.

Aligned with the goals of the Global Partnership on Marine Litter, the Portuguese Marine Litter Association has also been working to create the Portuguese Partnership on Marine Litter, as a means to promote co-responsibility among national stakeholders and to provide more efficient management solutions for marine litter. Thus, APLM continues to engage with other Portuguese speaking countries and to establish the basis to create and promote the Portuguese Speaking Countries Partnership on Marine Litter. So far, activities have been carried in two countries, East Timor in 2016 and São Tomé and Principe in 2017, to build bridges and promote national and international partnerships on the topic.

This work provides detailed information about recent achievements of APLM particularly stakeholder engagement, beach cleanups and monitoring efforts through citizen science.


The Australian Marine Debris Initiative – a national partnership platform

presenting: Heidi Taylor (Tangaroa Blue Foundation, Australia); authors: Heidi Taylor (Tangaroa Blue Foundation, Australia)

Tangaroa Blue Foundation is the leading marine debris organisation in Australia. Our motto is — if all we do is clean-up, that’s all we will ever do. Stopping litter at its source is our aim, and through collaboration and partnerships with community, government and industry, we can help achieve this at both a local and national scale. Tangaroa Blue Foundation created the Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI) in 2004 with a focus of removing and preventing marine debris across the country. The AMDI platform has engaged more than 1000 partner organisations, including indigenous rangers, local schools, community organisations, government agencies and industry bodies. The AMDI network contributes data collected with consistent methodology into the AMDI Database which is then used to identify what items are impacting specific sites. Once we know what is there, we can then start tracking those items to the source, engaging relevant stakeholders and partners to find practical solutions that prevent the release from occurring in the first place.

Tackling marine debris and litter as a whole is overwhelming – where do you start? The AMDI Database provides scientific evidence of what items to start with, and by tackling marine debris and litter one item at a time, you can then solve this immense issue, one step at a time.

This presentation will explore the AMDI platform, specific Source Reduction Plans that have been created based on data collected during clean-up activities, and how this citizen science data has contributed to numerous government policy submissions, including state plastic bag bans, container deposit legislation and the Australian Government’s Threat Abatement Plan.


Marine Litter Network – A Resource Providing the Status of Marine Litter Work Around the World

presenting: Jenna Jambeck (University of Georgia, United States); authors: Jenna Jambeck (University of Georgia, United States), Abigail Smith (University of Georgia – Young Dawg), Amy Brooks (University of Georgia), April Crow (Crowd Advisors)

The Marine Litter Network is a web platform for global marine litter information that began in 2011. The platform is an initiative by the Global Partnership on Marine Litter to support knowledge sharing and coordination. In 2017, the site and platform was revitalized by the Center for Circular Materials Management at the University of Georgia and expanded to reinvigorate engagement and partnerships It remains a source for timely articles on marine litter, marine debris and microplastic, e.g., the front page is dynamically loaded daily with current news articles. The resource includes a searchable map of over 230 global projects addressing marine litter and an initial database of Best Available Technologies, which is expected to grow over time. The site also compiles UN reports, legal information, as well as regional and national action plans. In this study, we report on an assessment of the topics covered on the platform with qualitative coding software and GIS to capture geographic trends and major themes that emerge. This assessment can provide a context and baseline with where to fit in global and local solutions to the marine debris issue.


African Marine Waste Network building the partnerships to reduce litter in Africa

presenting: Anthony Ribbink (Sustainable Seass Trust, South Africa); authors: Anthony Ribbink (Sustainable Seass Trust, South Africa)

The African Marine Waste Network (AMWN) is the first network of its kind to focus on finding solutions to marine waste for Africa. After South East Asia, Africa leaks more debris into the oceans of the world than any other continent. Predictions are that the problem will grow over the next decades as population growth, rates of urbanization and economic development are expected to increase, but significant alleviation of poverty is not likely to occur.

The AMWN is providing an active platform for collaboration, resource and knowledge sharing between stakeholders within countries and across borders in Africa, and it collectively seeks to find solutions that cater to African circumstances and cultures. The challenge is to reach and appeal to all 38 coastal and island nations of Africa and to create constructive collaboration between stakeholder groups with varied approaches and priorities.

Most rivers of Africa are heavily polluted and are principal conduits carrying debris from land to the sea. This is especially true of those rivers which have heavily populated catchment areas, sometimes with more than one town in their catchments. The AMWN is focusing increasingly on rivers and their catchments, in which high quality research, including innovative leap-frogging technology, is planned. It is also placing a high priority on capacity building, education and awareness, harnessing the circular economy (particularly in impoverished communities), networking in Africa and globally and policy and management.


The German Round Table Marine Litter

presenting: Stefanie Werner (German Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt), Germany); authors: Stefanie Werner (German Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt), Germany)

The German Round Table Marine Litter was established to develop, coordinate and implement activities to combat marine litter in the North and Baltic Sea. Around 130 stakeholder are involved representing the Federal Government, Federal States and various relevant stakeholders inter alia the shipping, fishing, waste, sewage and tourism sectors, the plastics, cosmetic and tire industries, retailers, NGOs, science and other public authorities. The overall aim of this network is that “Marine Litter does not cause harm to the marine and coastal environment” – a goal required by the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD – 2008/56/EU) to be achieved by 2020. The Regional Seas Conventions OSPAR and HELCOM have been adopted Regional Action Plans on Marine Litter in 2014 and 2015, respectively. The German Round Table Marine Litter serves both, the implementation of the mandatory national measures under the MSFD as well as the regional actions where Germany is in lead, e.g. addressing improved waste management and the reduction of single-used items as well as microplastics use and emissions.

The work is carried out in two working groups targeting the relevant land- and sea-based sources including options for removal and outreach and is based on monitoring activities in the marine compartments and biota generating evidence on amounts, distribution, top findings and ecological as well as socioeconomic harm caused by marine litter. The presentation intends to introduce into the German Round Table Marine Litter, give an overview of the current state of play and an outlook on future developments.