Marine Litter Spring 2020 meeting

3 June 2020

OSPAR’s marine litter group met online on 27 and 28 May 2020. The remote nature of the meeting failed to curtail the ever-enthusiastic marine litter group who managed to get through a packed schedule with their usual grace and dedication to the cause.

Indicator assessments

Co-convenor Pedro Sepulveda (Portugal) led the group through an update from the monitoring and assessment expert groups who are busy preparing indicator assessments for OSPAR’s next Quality Status Report (QSR) due in 2023. In addition to the 3 Indicator assessments which were included in our 2017 Intermediate Assessment; beach litter, seabed litter and plastic particles in fulmar stomachs; an additional indictor assessment will be provided on the ingestion of litter by turtles. The marine litter thematic assessment, to be produced by ICG-ML will also include information on harm, microplastics in sediment and the effectiveness of the actions taken under the OSPAR regional action plan.

Marine Litter Regional Action Plan

As the end of our current Marine Litter Regional Action Plan (RAP) 2014-2021 draws near, the marine litter group is looking towards finalising the collective actions that are included in the plan as well as looking at how to evaluate its effectiveness.

The group agreed an evaluation framework to enable OSPAR to investigate the overall outcome against each RAP review objective (e.g. changes in environmental state, changes in pressures, changes in awareness/behaviour); what actions have been taken by OSPAR (outputs); and what evidence there is of their effectiveness (impact). The evaluation will also investigate how the development of the RAP has influenced and helped with the development of plans in other regions and globally. The final evaluation will be published in the summer of 2021 and will guide the development of our next RAP.

The group also heard updates on the progress of the implementation plan of the current RAP and the final push to its completion through work on the collective actions. You can find out more about the RAP, its collective actions and its outputs here