Wadden Sea discuss marine litter at World Heritage sites
From 14 to 16 November 2018, World Heritage marine managers and marine litter experts from around the world met at the Island of Norderney in the Wadden Sea World Heritage site to discuss impacts of marine litter and plastics. During the 3-day workshop, best practices on marine litter monitoring, clean-up campaigns and awareness-raising were exchanged.
Marine litter, including plastics, is a growing concern for the health of the oceans. Marine sites inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List are not immune to the problem. In 2016, scientists determined that at least 8 million tonnes of plastics leak into the ocean each year and that, by 2050, the ocean might contain more plastic than fish. Studies estimate that several World Heritage sites such as Henderson Island (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) or Papahānaumokuākea (USA) are located at the edge of major ocean gyres which transport plastics and marine litter to their beaches and ocean environment.
The workshop is the first to focus on this problem in World Heritage marine sites. While part of the problem can be addressed at the local level through clean-ups and other initiatives, a core part of the solution in reducing marine litter at World Heritage sites will require strategic global action.
The full article can be found at whc.unesco.org
More information about the World Heritage Marine programme can also be found at whc.unesco.org