Ocean Action Hub

What do you see as the priority actions which we can all rally around in global 'Calls for Action' in achieving Target 14.1?

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Ahmad H. Abu Hilal's picture

Ahmad H. Abu Hilal said:

More comprehensive and intensive efforts on sustainable educational and awareness programmes on the local and regional scales by local, regional and international authorities and agencies. 

Rodrigo García Píngaro's picture

Rodrigo García ... said:

Llamar a la acción de la ciudadanía mediante soluciones que toquen sus vidas, su cotidiano, las necesidades de las comunidades. Haciendo que personas famosas, líderes reconocidos lleven adelante la acción.

Alcanzar la masa crítica de la ciudadanía. Una Olimpíada de salvar los océanos...

Que los grupos y solistas musicales se interesen, Unicef de los mares... los actores, así como Pierce Brosnan, Leo Di Caprio y otros lo hacen...

Arjan van Houwelingen's picture

Arjan van Houwe... said:

Prioritization in the Marine Pollution debate

When discussing the issue of marine pollution, our natural inclination has been to focus attention almost entirely on pollution originating from land-based sources as this is the source of close to 80 percent of all marine debris. Even the language of target 14.1 betrays this preference. However, we would question whether quantity the best determinant for prioritization of action and attention, particularly as our overall aim is to sustainably enhance the health and productivity of our oceans.

An alternate approach to prioritization of action would be to differentiate or rank different types of marine debris in relation to its relative impact on ocean health and productivity. The issue of abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear (ALDFG) or ‘ghost fishing gear’ as it was referred to in the most recent General Assembly resolution on sustainable fisheries is a good example of this. According to the FAO and UNEP, ghost fishing gear makes up about 10 percent of all marine debris yet it is, by far, the deadliest form of marine debris. Recent studies by the Joint Research Centre, the European Commission’s in-house science service, Ocean Conservancy and others indicate that ghost fishing gear is 4 times more likely to impact on marine life, through entanglement, than all other forms of marine debris combined.

With reports showing that 45 percent of all marine mammal species on the IUCN Red List have been affected by lost or abandoned fishing gear, it is clear that ghost gear is a major biodiversity concern. Also, while generalization is difficult as individual studies focus on specific species in particular geographic areas, there is an increasing consensus that ghost fishing gear is directly responsible for a 10 percent decline in fish stock levels globally. This is the second most dominant cause of fish stock decline after overfishing.

Moreover, as ghost fishing gear is often made from plastic and other non-degradable materials that eventually disintegrates, it acts as the source of around 10-15 percent of all marine micro plastics which potentially threatens the health of all marine life and, by extension, human health as plastic particles and chemicals become part of the food chain.

Therefore, if ocean productivity, in terms of quantity, quality and safety, is a serious concern then ghost fishing gear must be at, or near, the top of our priority list.

Alternatively, if we determine priority based on a differentiation by ease of action or likely success of action, keeping in mind that maintaining momentum in the implementation of SDG 14 is paramount and therefore early success is essential, we again find that ghost fishing gear must be at the top of our priority list.

Thanks to the 2009 FAO/UNEP study we already know what action needs to be taken to both prevent fishing gear from being lost or discarded and how existing ghost gear can be removed. Through the annual Sustainable Fisheries resolution, all UN Member States have already committed to taking urgent action and implement the FAO/UNEP recommendations. Effective action on ghost fishing gear is policy-heavy and means of implementation-light. And, with the launch of the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI) in September 2015 there is now a multi-stakeholder public-private partnership through which action on ghost gear can be coordinated and which can act as a clearing house for information, knowledge, capacity-building and technology exchange.

In conclusion, whereas prioritizing land-based sources of marine debris appears to be a logical choice because of the size of the problem, alternate approaches to prioritization suggest that the issue of ALDFG or ghost fishing gear must be recognized as an issue where action can be taken quickly and where success will have a distinct and substantial impact on the achievement of SDG 14.

Anne Mäusbacher's picture

Anne Mäusbacher said:

- official kids education program in school about marine litter: mandatory program in all countries, regardless if close to water/sea, to raise the awareness about plastic pollution worldwide and at home and achieve immediate change in shopping behavior (more on www.beachcleaner.de). education means as well investment, eg. Kids need to get access to alternatives, as refill waterbottles, if the alternative is not there, how can they switch from PET bottles to stainless steel or glas..

- beach clean ups need to happen everywhere and with all age groups (kids, adults)

- onsite recycling options need to be in place to eliminate the amount of trash in high polluted areas (Mumbai)

- ban on plastic toys

- ban on single use plastic items (see San Francisco, or France)

- ban on plastic bags worldwide, there are eco friendly solutions out there

- push CSR/EPR, producers, brands need to take back the plastic packaging/trash and recycle (mandatory, maybe in context of incentives, tax advantage, etc..)

- push eco innovations, companys need to get messured in the future by eco innovations and have to invest certain amount of profit in reseach, development and take real actions/production (no green washing). urgently needed filters for fibres/microbeeds in washing machine etc.

- government need to support and push trough new laws and regulations to stop the use of virgin plastic in new productions, otherwhise nothing will change

Roger Erismann's picture

Roger Erismann said:

Things we can do – Enable people :

  1. Go upstream: We all know that the trash comes from land based sources.  The focus on the Ocean has distanced the problem from a large portion of the population.  And shifted responsibility to coastal areas
  2. Formally adopt a protocol to quantify beachlitter:  OSPAR and NOAA have done great work adopt one of the two.  Gerorg Hanke at the JRC just released the technical bulletin for freshwater
  3. Train people in that protocol:  Enable people to quantify their observations at their level
  4. Use the adopted protocol:  Create regional websites that allow people to compare regions and locations
  5. Standardize reporting:  Create an automated reporting system so that communities across the globe are receiving the same information in the same format
  6. Use the results:  Celebrate communities that have the best results and show improvement.  Create a rating scheme based only on trash density.
  7. Finance proven methods:  Storm water filters, riparian catchment areas that can be easily cleaned etc… and apply steps 3-6
  8. Pay people:  Stop relying on volunteers to clean up this mess.  Allow for budgets that encourage people and associations to get out there and quantify
  9. Finance: community activists, PHDs, and non-mechanical filtration methods

The bottom line is the more you distance us from the problem the less likely we are to participate.

Create competition by open and objective measurements.  Nobody wants to have the dirtiest beach on the planet !  The innovations will follow

Some things you need to stop doing:

Stop supporting large money wasting (Corporate supported) research projects:  Thousands of people all over the world pick trash up off the beach we don’t need another project supported by an oil company (unless it does the first 9 list items)

Stop bending to economic pressure:  The innovative solution will present itself once we start taking care of business and more people are involved.  You need a critical mass of activity before real innovation happens.

Stop focusing on countries like India and Indonesia:  I have met more environmentally conscious people from India than my hometown.  Something tells me if we take a closer look at population density, income, education, GDP and infrastructure Europe and North America don’t have a lot to be proud of

Qualification of our experience:  we are a small association that has completed over 160 beach litter surveys on Lake Geneva, Switzerland in the past two years (we are starting our third year now).  We formalized our approach by adopting the OSPAR protocol and the MLW classification system starting in year two, we produced a detailed document that compares beach litter density and composition on Lake Geneva with beaches in the OSPAR region (80 surveys and 27’790 pieces of shoreline debris).

The summary results are here "The log normal distribution of beach litter density":


The complete analysis is here (protocol, history, other associations, analysis methods, brief intro to litter and Swiss regulations):


Nina van Toulon's picture

Nina van Toulon said:

One of the topics to address : fibers from textiles in the marine environment 


From website Plastic Soup Foundation

'These are the shocking interim results of an EU funded project Life+ Program: Mermaids, Ocean Clean Wash (www.life-mermaids.eu). For nearly three years, the National Research Council (NCR) from Italy, LEITAT and Polysistec from Spain, and the Dutch Plastic Soup Foundation have worked together to look for causes and solutions.'

Campaign video  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8OZ_6YwTUE

Roger Spranz's picture

Roger Spranz said:

I suggest approches evolving around four main pillars:

Let me start with the one most of you may not be familiar with

(1) Behavioral Interventions: If goverments cannot (due to lack of institutional capacities) or do not want to (political reasons) implement proven policies (like bans or fees) Behavioral interventions are a very promising alternative. What behavioral interventions basically do is providing psycholgy based nudges to softly influence and support behavior change. Examples are moral, social and indirect or direct financial incentives. Who can use this? NGOs, businesses, environmental groups etc

I have conducted my PhD research on reducing plastic bag use in Indonesia, and tested behavioral interventions in two different field experiments. I targeted to encourage the use of reusable bags. You can read more about the research results here: http://makingoceansplasticfree.com/category/research/

(2) Governmental Policies: Bans or fees on certain pollution causing packaging (e.g. plastic bags) are a very effective tool in well functioning and politically conducive policy environments

(3) Awareness Campaigns: Environmental Education, whether in schools or in campaigns are essential to support pro environmental behavior by the people. High awareness by the people puts pressure on a)  a pro enviornmental response by businesses which to make their packaging and production processes more environmentally friendly, and b) a higher relevance on pro environmental policies to the government

(4) Innovation: If there are no alternatives to the polluting practices or products, it will be hard to bring change. The easier it will be, if there are well designed, functional and appealing alternatives. Research for innovating alternative eco friendly solutions should therefore be supported by governments, NGOs, business and others.

Nina van Toulon's picture

Nina van Toulon replied:

@Roger Spranz

Hello Roger, thanks so much for your comments and all information. I will share the link on IWP forum.

Regarding paying for bags: a trial by Ministry of Environment was done in a number of cities and they evaluated and did not yet implement again. There were issues: mistrust with consumers regarding where the money was going. In 2 weeks the Minsitry will be here in Holland by invitation of the Dutch ministry of Environment and I am involved in organising some events for that mission : will ask their planning about this. 

And the girls of Bye Bye Plastic Bags are doing a great job ! We keep sharing their news on IWP forum for inspiration :)

During this mission development of Circular Economy is high on the agenda.

in 2016 we had a number of seminars and conferences in Jakarta - stalkeholders attending from all sectors, government, companies, representatieves of recycling industry, chairmans of the Indonesian Packaging Industry,  KADIN - chaiman of the chamber of commerce , UN Global Compact, NGO - at all events round table discussions. Human behavious change, the ban of bags and other disposables and re-thinking single use packaging high on the agenda.

Ministry for Maritime Affairs is actively campaigning : Gerakan Budaya Bersih dan Senyum (GBBS) http://maritimnews.com/bersama-kemenko-maritim-apmi-lakukan-sosialisasi-...

Some other campaigns - speerheaded by a young group of innovative activists on Java - one of the initiators is Sano ( FB : Mohamad Bijaksana Junerosano) - they are also attending 





Regarding education: we have a program for primary schools: Green Indonesia - we lobby for inclusion in the national curriculum - please see this link. https://www.facebook.com/Indonesia-Hijau-Green-Indonesia-Program-pendidi...

The books are now in Ministry of Environment and going on to Ministry of Education. Continuous lobby. The program incudes 3-day teacher training, one topic in the training is on establishing school waste banks and motivating schools to join the ADIWIYATA program http://www.menlh.go.id/informasi-mengenai-adiwiyata/

Thanks again for the link, I will share on https://www.facebook.com/groups/210686719277064/

Nina van Toulon's picture

Nina van Toulon said:

One more suggestion specifically for Indonesia:

A translated version of the MOOC on Marine Litter to Bahasa Indonesia. I participated in the first MOOC. Many Indonesian stakeholders cannot participate in the English version due to language barrier.

Thank you.

Nina van Toulon's picture

Nina van Toulon said:

Moving towards reducing the use of 1-portion and single-use packaging / development of circular economy / alternatives for water from plastic bottles (no drinkable tap water available) / promote the ban on plastic shopping bags / promote EPR regarding packaging (based on the Greman model) 

Specifically for Indonesia :

As another priority I see realising Indonesian Waste Challenge - an event to bring together all relevant players from all regions in Indonesia, in collaboration with stakeholders from outside Indonesia - supporting with expertise. This includes stakeholders from government (all levels and relevant minsitries and departments) - academia - companies and grass roots/community initiatives.


- To facilitate the forming of a commonshared vision and strategy - with guidance of frameworks The Honolulu Strategy, The Global Outlook on Waste Management, the National Action Plan draft by Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and existing policies

- Forming of action plans short term and longterm

- Capacity building short courses of stakeholders 

- Exhibition of technical solutions and learning materials

In next question will explain about some of some current developments 

Willemijn Peeters's picture

Willemijn Peeters said:

Call for Actions include:

- a tool to be used by companies to address plastics usage within the company and value chain. Make it stupid simple to use.

- a visible campaign to raise awareness among consumers about the major sources of their plastic pollution to the ocean.

- a new standard in packaging.

- a ban on single-use of plastics.

- a ban on the use of virgin plastics.

Ider Batbayar's picture

Ider Batbayar said:

Ocean provides so many good benefits for eveyone in the world including some of the oxygen we all breath. Healthy ocean is important for everyone in the world. Then there's a gap of awareness about many of these goodness Ocean bless us. To this end, what can be done better to nurture more awareness so that it helps more and more people and organizations realize their role in helping to save our oceans?

Fredrik Haag's picture

Fredrik Haag replied:

Hi Ider, thanks for your comment! Indeed awareness is crucial, and initiatives like this can play an important part. On our part, we take capacity building and training of the maritime community very seriously. /Fredrik

Fredrik Haag's picture

Fredrik Haag said:

“Welcome to the online forum on addressing marine pollution in advance of the SDG-14 Ocean Conference that will take place in June of this year. We are very pleased to be moderating this discussion and look forward to hearing from you. 

We are interested in receiving your contributions on how the global community can respond to reducing the menace of marine pollution from the level of the citizen, all the way to government.  Please feel free to make your inputs on one or all of the questions we have posed here.  Under Question 2, we are interested in learning about what you see as the priority actions which we can all rally around in global 'Calls for Action' in achieving Target 14.1?     

This forum will remain open until 24th March and we will monitor the inputs and provide moderation to ensure the discussion effectively feeds makes a substantive input to be carried to the Conference in June.  Summaries of the responses will be compiled at the end of the discussion period and posted on the platform. 

Your voice matters!  Make it count as the global community converges in June 2017 to commit to action to realize Sustainable Development Goal 14 to sustain Life Below Water for our and future generations!" 

Sarah S's picture

Sarah S replied:

  • Providing incentives: In the Philippines, recyclables can be sold to junk shops, providing a small amount of supplemental income. Organizing students and People's Organizations to collect and sell recyclables as groups could aid in providing income and in reducing waste
  • Education/awareness raising: especially in those communities dependent on the sea. Educating fisherfolk about effects of pollution/other marine problems, and training them to educate others