OSPAR invites interested organisations and individuals to contribute to the development of our second Regional Action Plan for the Prevention and Management of Marine Litter in the North-East Atlantic (RAP ML).

The consultation phase for the new RAP ML is now open and we would like to ask for your help in promoting it amongst relevant stakeholders.

Interested organisations and individuals can provide their input through Typeform, using the following link: https://ospar.typeform.com/to/vwtTyzIM before the end of September 2021.

The rest of this email contains information on OSPAR and the RAP ML and explains how you can participate.

OSPAR and Marine Litter
OSPAR is the mechanism by which 15 Governments & the EU cooperate to protect the marine environment of the North-East Atlantic. We work together towards the vision of a clean, healthy and biologically diverse North-East Atlantic, used sustainably.

Our work on marine litter is mandated by the 1992 OSPAR Convention, which requires Contracting Parties to take all possible steps to prevent and eliminate pollution and to protect the marine area against the adverse effects of human activities. These obligations include marine litter, which is not only an aesthetic problem, but incurs socioeconomic costs, threatens human health and safety, and impacts on marine organisms.

In response to the problems caused by marine litter, OSPAR’s current Environment Strategy includes the ambition to substantially reduce marine litter in the OSPAR Maritime Area to levels where properties and quantities of marine litter do not cause harm to the coastal and marine environment. This goal is expected to be expanded in a new Strategy for the period to 2030, to be adopted by OSPAR Ministers in autumn 2021, and presenting new strategic and operational objectives to combat marine litter. The Regional Action Plan is a key instrument to achieve these ambitions.

The Regional Action Plan
OSPAR adopted its first Regional Action Plan for Prevention and Management of Marine Litter in the North-East Atlantic in 2014. This RAP ML contained 32 collective actions and 23 national actions, addressing both land-based and sea- based sources and pathways of marine litter, as well as education, outreach and removal actions. You will see examples of outputs from the RAP ML on the web pages.

The first RAP ends in 2021 and preliminary evaluations indicate good progress in implementing the actions (full evaluation will be published in 2021). Progress is also visible in the latest beach litter indicator assessments (2019), which show some signs of reductions. Nevertheless, levels of marine litter remain a problem and OSPAR's objective for marine litter has not yet been met. That is why OSPAR is working on a new updated RAP ML for the period 2022 to 2030, for which we would like your input.

Consultation process and questions
To ensure that the new RAP ML is as relevant and effective as possible, we would like to gather your ideas and insights as a stakeholder involved in marine litter in the North-Eastern Atlantic. This OSPAR-wide consultation, which is open to any interested organisation or individual, may be supplemented by further engagement at national level, but this will vary by contracting party.

If you wish to respond, please use the response form, which you can find here https://ospar.typeform.com/to/vwtTyzIM. Consultation for the RAP ML is open to until the end of September 2021. Please note that your response to this consultation will be made public, unless you request otherwise.

If you have any questions about OSPAR and the RAP ML, you can contact us at Lucy.Ritchie@ospar.org.

You can also find out more about the impacts of marine litter and access further information on OSPAR’s work on marine litter, including monitoring and assessment here