“The situation in the Mediterranean is urgent. Both the coastline and the sea itself have been seriously affected. The sea is under major pressure caused by climate change and there is demographic and tourism-related pressure on the coastline.”
Since the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation (FPA2) was founded in 2006, the foundation has supported public and private sector initiatives in the fields of research, technological innovation and conscious practices to address social issues. The foundation’s three main work areas are limiting the impact of climate change and promoting renewable energy, conserving biodiversity, and water resource management and combating desertification.
In March 2015, a conference in Monaco brought together the main players in the plastics sector (manufacturers, regional authority representatives, scientists, civil society). Representatives of Veolia also took part in this review of the situation and committed to undertaking concrete initiatives to reduce the impact of the proliferation of plastic waste in the Mediterranean. The conference was christened Beyond Plastic Med (BeMed for short) and has definitely made an impact: a call for micro-initiatives was made on 8 June 2016, World Oceans Day, to generate local solutions to the problem.
The BeMed call for projects should help encourage projects throughout the Mediterranean region (notably in Albania, Algeria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Egypt, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Montenegro, Palestine, Tunisia, Cyprus, Croatia, Malta and Greece). Successful applications should help combat plastic waste, for instance by encouraging behavioural change, through local stakeholder capacity building, promoting best practice, both in terms of managing plastic waste and developing alternative products, and creating a Mediterranean network of local stakeholders actively involved in combating plastic pollution. Technical and financial partners will support the successful initiatives for three years. BeMed should definitely inspire environmentally-positive creativity.