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Regional Harmonization

Working together to solve marine pollution

The work conducted by Clean Coast Bonaire and WWF-Dutch Caribbean resulted in two reports that were co-authored by Carolyn Caporusso and Merijn Hougee and commissioned by the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (GCFI) and UN Environment’s Caribbean Environment Programme (UNEP-CEP), which also serves as Secretariat of the Cartagena Convention.

If you or your organization are interested in replicating this monitoring program in your location, please contact us for more information.

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Harmonizing Marine Litter Monitoring in the Wider Caribbean Region

A Hybrid Approach

The first report, Harmonizing Marine Litter Monitoring in the Wider Caribbean Region: A Hybrid Approach (2019, revised 2021) was a result of the commitment between the Secretariats of the Caribbean Environment Programme and the OSPAR Commission to explore opportunities for inter-regional cooperation, regional conferences and workshops of marine litter experts and stakeholders, and Clean Coast Bonaire. It was prepared to evaluate a hybrid approach to data collection methods employed by OSPAR and Ocean Conservancy. This included identifying the pros and cons of each methodology by comparing the different survey methods, field forms and databases, as well as governance of the initiatives.   

The report recommends adopting a combined approach that allows for engagement with citizens for monitoring while ensuring good quality data collection on certain pre-selected sites.   and database structure to what is currently in use within the OSPAR region. The recommended modifications to the OSPAR methodology were primarily to adapt it from the coasts of the North-East Atlantic to the Caribbean by reducing the required length and noting the presence of sargassum. Read the full report here.

Action Plan

For Harmonized Marine Litter Monitoring in the Wider Caribbean Region

The second report, Action Plan for Harmonized Marine Litter Monitoring in the Wider Caribbean Region (2021), defines an effective strategy and create a roadmap for a cost-effective and easily replicable means to collect high quality, harmonized marine litter data that can be used for driving and verifying effectiveness of reduction policies, awareness raising while ensuring that the data collected regionally is aligned with global marine litter data consolidation and analysis. This action plan builds on the 2019 recommendations for a hybrid approach on beach litter monitoring and incorporates regional and global assessments of marine litter frameworks, best practices of the established program for beach litter monitoring in the OSPAR region, and feedback from stakeholders within the Wider Caribbean Region. Read the full report here.

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