On the 10th and 11th of March 2015, the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the MAVA Foundation, Surfrider Foundation Europe, and Tara Expeditions organised the international conference ‘Plastic in the Mediterranean Sea: Beyond the Observation, What Solutions?’ at the Monaco Yacht Club with the support of the Fondation de France, Billerudekorsnäs, Veolia Foundation, the French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, the European Union, the Ocean Foundation, and ACCOBAMS.
The conference was attended by representatives from around ten Mediterranean countries, and a wide range of selected stakeholders concerned by plastic marine pollution.
It was an opportunity to take stock of the impacts from this pollution, based on the existing scientific, technological, and socio-economic datas. In the course of the conference, a number of different solutions have been identified, and impediments to their implementation have been assessed.
At the conclusion of the meeting,
Considering the extent of the problem and the impact of plastic pollution on the Mediterranean Sea, and in particular on the ecosystems and marine resources, on the water quality, and on public health;
Concerned by the fact that without significant change in waste management, the quantity of plastic waste discharged into the Mediterranean Sea will increase further over the coming years;
In the knowledge that this issue reaches far beyond the Mediterranean Sea and affects the vast majority of the planet’s oceans;
Aware of the fact that over 90% of this plastic originates inland, and that therefore solutions must address the real root causes of the problem, which are mainly to be found upstream, in order to limit this influx into the oceans;
Highlighting the need for changes in behaviours, lifestyles, and consumption patterns, as well as in production methods, and sometimes in regulatory frameworks;
Noting the existence of positive and mostly innovative initiatives for the development and implementation of solutions arising from technology, industry, and institutions, and those in connection with public awareness raising and education;
Considering that the situation is unlikely to significantly improve without an integrated and coordinated approach between the different stakeholders from civil society, business community, and political institutions.
The organisers call upon all concerned stakeholders to join the efforts of the Task Force Beyond Plastic Med, created to seek out and promote concrete solutions for efficient action against the inflow of plastic pollution in the Mediterranean Sea.
Monaco, the 11th of March 2015