The project “Innovative Techniques and Methods for Reducing Marine Litter in the Black Sea Coastal Areas”, priority 2.2. “Awareness Raising and Joint Actions for Reducing River and Marine Litter”, Joint Operational Programme “Black Sea Basin 2014-2020” will be implemented jointly with partners from Romania (University of Constanta) and Georgia (Tbilisi State University), the leading partner is the Via Pontica Foundation, Bulgaria.

The main objective of the project is to reduce pollution of the Black Sea basin by tracking and analyzing the main waste streams and carrying out pilot activities to clean pre-defined areas of marine litter.

The project starts in the second half of August 2018 and will last for 30 months until February 2021.

The main activities that will carry out within the framework of the above project are exploring the current state of a defined target area on the Black Sea coast, collecting information on sources of pollution, quantity and composition of marine litter and creating a database that will combine data from all countries involved in the project. Pilot activities will be carried out to clean pre-defined areas of marine litter and a Marine Litter Management Manual will be developed.

 

 

Events within the Project:

 

Press Conference on the Start of the Project

 

On 27.09.2018 an initial press conference was held on the launch of the project “Innovative Techniques and Methods for Reducing Marine Litter in the Black Sea Coastal Areas”.

 

 

With a multimedia presentation Mrs. Ruska Boyadjieva, Deputy Mayor of European Policies and Environment in the Municipality of Burgas and Mrs. Ina Aganfonova, Founder and Chairman of the Management Board of the Via Pontica Foundation, introduced the objectives, the planned activities and the expected results of the project.

The press conference was widely reported in the media. 35 of them introduced to its readers, listeners and viewers the project, its function, initiatives and expected results.

More about the press conference in the News.

 

Seminar  “The Impact of Solid Waste Pollution in the Black Sea and Other Aspects of Environmental Protection”

 

Seminar  “The Impact of Solid Waste Pollution in the Black Sea and Other Aspects of Environmental Protection” on 2-3 October 2018, in which prominent scientists and lecturers, working in the field of environmental protection and sustainable use of natural resources, is part of the project “Innovative Techniques and Methods for Reducing Marine Litter in the Black Sea Coastal Areas”.

 

 

The name of the selected theme itself is a challenge, and the opinions expressed in this forum are a very important contribution to defining the objectives, benefits and ways of successful implementation of the project.

Some of the presentations of the reports can be found HERE.

More about the seminar in the News.

 

 

 

European Commission – Press Release

Single-use Plastics: Commission Welcomes Ambitious Agreement on New Rules to Reduce Marine Litter

Brussels, 19 December 2018

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The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union have reached a provisional political agreement on the ambitious new measures proposed by the Commission to tackle marine litter at its source, targeting the 10 plastic products most often found on our beaches as well as abandoned fishing gear.

Today’s agreement is based on the Single-use plastics proposal presented in May by the Commission as part of the world’s first comprehensive Plastics Strategy, adopted earlier this year, to protect citizens and the environment from plastic pollution whilst fostering growth and innovation. The new rules contribute to a broader effort of turning Europe into a more sustainable, circular economy, reflected in the Circular Economy Action Plan adopted in December 2015. They will place Europe’s businesses and consumers ahead as a world leader in producing and using sustainable alternatives that avoid marine litter and oceans pollution, tackling a problem with global implications.

First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, responsible for sustainable development said: “I warmly welcome today’s ambitious agreement reached on our Commission proposal to reduce single use plastics. This agreement truly helps protect our people and our planet. Europeans are conscious that plastic waste is an enormous problem and the EU as a whole has shown true courage in addressing it, making us the global leader in tackling plastic marine litter. Equally important is, that with the solutions agreed upon today, we are also driving a new circular business model and showing the way forward to putting our economy on a more sustainable path.

Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for jobs, growth, investment and competitiveness, added: “Tackling the plastics problem is a must. At the same time it brings new opportunities for innovation, competitiveness and job creation. We will discuss those thoroughly with industry within the Circular Plastics Alliance. With the agreement reached today we are showing that Europe is doing a smart economic and environmental choice and is advancing towards a new truly circular plastics economy.”

Commissioner for environment, maritime affairs and fisheries, Karmenu Vella said: “When we have a situation where one year you can bring your fish home in a plastic bag, and the next year you are bringing that bag home in a fish, we have to work hard and work fast. So I am happy that with the agreement of today between Parliament and Council. We have taken a big stride towards reducing the amount of single-use plastic items in our economy, our ocean and ultimately our bodies.”

Different measures for different products

The new EU directive on Single-Use Plastics will be the most ambitious legal instrument at global level addressing marine litter. It envisages different measures to apply to different product categories. Where alternatives are easily available and affordable, single-use plastic products will be banned from the market, such as plastic cotton buds, cutlery, plates, straws, drink stirrers, sticks for balloons, products made of oxo-degradable plastic and food and beverage containers made of expanded polystyrene For other products, the focus is on limiting their use through a national reduction in consumption; on design and labelling requirements; and waste management/clean-up obligations for producers.

Next Steps

The provisional agreement reached today must now be formally approved by the European Parliament and the Council. Following its approval, the new Directive will be published in the EU’s Official Journal and the Member States will have to transpose it after two years.

Background

This initiative delivers on the commitment made in the European Plastics Strategy to tackle wasteful and damaging plastic litter through legislative action. The measures proposed will contribute to Europe’s transition towards a Circular Economy, and to reaching the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the EU’s climate commitments and industrial policy objectives.

In December 2015 the Juncker Commission adopted an ambitious new Circular Economy Package to help European businesses and consumers to make the transition to a stronger and more circular economy where resources are used in a more sustainable way. The Package has broken down silos in the Commission and contributes to broad political priorities by tackling climate change and the environment while boosting job creation, economic growth, investment and social fairness. It has been prepared by a core project team co-chaired by First Vice-President Frans Timmermans and Vice-President Jyrki Katainen with the close involvement of Commissioners Karmenu Vella and Elżbieta Bieńkowska. Many other Commissioners were also involved in its preparation and helped identify the most effective tools covering a wide range of policy areas.

The proposed Directive follows a similar approach to the successful 2015 Plastic Bags Directive, which brought about a rapid shift in consumer behaviour. The new measures will bring about both environmental and economic benefits, such as for example:

  • avoid the emission of 3.4 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent;
  • avoid environmental damages which would cost the equivalent of €22 billion by 2030;
  • save consumers a projected €6.5 billion.

The Single-use plastics directive is complemented by other measures taken against marine pollution, such as the Directive on port reception facilities, on which the European Parliament and the Council just reached a provisional agreement last week. The Directive tackles waste from ships, with a focus on sea-based marine litter. It sets measures to ensure that waste generated on ships or collected at sea is always returned to land, recycled and processed in ports.

Earlier this month the European Commission launched also the “Circular Plastics Alliance” an alliance of key industry stakeholders covering the full plastics value chain as part of its persisting efforts to reduce plastics littering, increase the share of recycled plastics and stimulate market innovation. The Alliance aims to improve the economics and quality of plastics recycling in Europe, and will in particular strengthen the match between supply and demand for recycled plastics which is identified as the main obstacle to a well-functioning EU market of recycled plastics.

 

Regional Stakeholders Seminar “Towards a Common Maritime Agenda for the Black Sea”

Wednesday March 20th, 2019

 

Following the 2018 Burgas Ministerial Declaration towards a Common Maritime Agenda for the Black Sea, the Facility for Blue Growth organized the Regional stakeholder seminar on blue economy. The seminar took place on 19 March 2019 in Istanbul, Turkey. It was attended by representatives of Via Pontica Foundation.

 

 

The Seminar was organised with the support of the European Commission and the Black Sea Economic Cooperation, Permanent International Secretariat (BSEC PERMIS).

Following a series of national roundtables in various Black Sea coastal countries, was given the opportunity to hear different opinions and views on areas of mutual interest and the actions needed to support the blue economy in the region.

 

 

Second Workshop on the BSB552 / RedMarLitter Project Was Held

Friday March 22nd, 2019

A second workshop was held in Burgas between 19-22 March 2019 within the project “Innovative Techniques and Methods for Reducing Marine Litter in the Black Sea Coastal Areas”, priority 2.2. “Awareness Raising and Joint Actions for Reducing River and Marine Litter”, Joint Operational Programme “Black Sea Basin 2014-2020” .

 

 

The project partners from Bulgaria, Romania and Georgia gathered at the Business Incubator in Burgas and discussed the progress of the project and the forthcoming activities for its implementation.

 

 

Following an introduction by the Lead Partner the Via Pontica Foundation and the adoption of the agenda, the meeting continued in a working format in the form of a consultation and discussing the work schedule activities that have been carried out so far, as well as the necessary next steps.

 

 

On 21.03. Burgas Municipality presented the developed Internet platform for the project, its structure and design. The partners had the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the functionalities and in real time, testing the control panel with their own accounts.

 

 

During the meeting the partners met with academic representatives from Burgas in the face of the experts of the University “Prof. Dr. Zlatarov “- Department of Ecology and Environmental Protection, which annually organize the conference “To think ecologically about the future”.

 

 

The motto of the conference is in line with the project’s goals and for their colleagues from Georgia and Romania, project partners, it was important and interesting to exchange knowledge and experience related to pollution of Black Sea basin waters.

 

 

As part of the event’s program, the Via Pontica Foundation organized a visit to the Ecological Park for Biodiversity and Alternative Tourism “Vaya” – a promising project of the Via Pontica Foundation, fully committed to the care of nature and protection of the ecological diversity.

 

 

Training for Beneficiaries from the 1st Call for Proposals of Joint Operational Programme Black Sea Basin 2014-2020

Thursday April 18th, 2019

 

 

To ensure the premises for a smooth implementation of the projects contracted within the framework of the 1st Call for proposals of Joint Operational Programme Black Sea Basin 2014-2020, programme management structures organised a training session dedicated to the beneficiaries from the 1st Call for proposals.

The Black Sea Basin Programme 2014-2020 is part of European Union’s Cross-Border Cooperation (CBC) under its European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI).

 

 

ENI CBC receives funding from ENI as well as from the European Regional Development Fund and the Instrument for Pre-Accession which is pooled together. All sources of funding may be used on either side of the EU external border for actions of common benefit.

The Black Sea Basin ENI CBC programme 2014-2020 builds upon the previous cooperation framework, the Black Sea Basin ENPI CBC programme 2007-2013, under which 62 projects were awarded and implemented in 8 countries surrounding the Black Sea Basin.

The target groups for the event were the lead beneficiaries and the beneficiaries of the contracted projects within the first call for proposals.

The event was held in Bucharest, Romania, on 16-17 April 2019. The training session was aimed to enhance capacity of beneficiaries and to provide them a summary of the Project Implementation Manual with focus on general rules for project implementation; internal and external communication; project financial management, irregularities, fraud and corruption; reporting; modification of the grant contract; project monitoring, expenditures verifications and on-the-spot verifications.

 

 

The project “Innovative Techniques and Methods for Reducing Marine Litter in the Black Sea Coastal Areas”, priority 2.2. “Awareness Raising and Joint Actions for Reducing River and Marine Litter”, Joint Operational Programme “Black Sea Basin 2014-2020” was represented by the Chairman of the Board of the Via Pontica Foundation, Ms. Ina Agafonova, Bulgaria – Leading Partner and Ms. Raluka Trandafir of Ovidius University of Constanța, Romania- Partner.

 

 

Press Release

May, 15, 2019

Project “Innovative Techniques and Methods for Reducing Marine Litter in the Black Sea Coastal Areas”, priority 2.2. “Awareness Raising and Joint Actions for Reducing River and Marine Litter”, Joint Operational Programme “Black Sea Basin 2014-2020” experts actively participated in the First Congress and Seminar of the project ZEWSGES “Zero Waste Strategy for Good Environmental Status – BSB257”, financed under the First Call of the Joint Operational Program “Black Sea Basin 2014-2020”with a report and speeches.

The First Congress and Seminar were held on May 14 and 15, 2019 in the Flora Exhibition Center, Burgas. The events were organized by the Tourism Development Council of the Municipality of Nessebar which is one of the partners in the project. It included representatives of Bulgaria, Turkey, Georgia and Ukraine.

 

 

Greetings to the participants in the congress were made by Ms. Ivelina Vassileva / Member of Parliament / and Prof. Dr. Sevdalina Turmanova / Deputy Regional Governor of Burgas District and Regional Representative of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences for Burgas and the region /.

In the beginning, “ZEWSGES Project Overview” was made by Mr. Ali Siri Oren, the ZEWSGES Project Leader. Thereafter, the ZEWSGES project activities in the individual regions were presented by Ms. Fani Semerdzhieva, ZEWSGES Marine Environment Coordinator in Bulgaria, Ms. Tamar Tsamalashvil, ZEWSGES Marine Environment Coordinator in Georgia, Mr. Volodymyr Filin, project coordinator ZEWSGES in Ukraine and Prof. Dr. Fatih Konukhu – Coordinator Ecosystems Educational Program at Namik Kemal University, Turkey.

On the second day, the participants in the event were acquainted with the Black Sea Strategic Research and Innovation Plan, as well as with the contribution of the younger generation to the sustainability of the project in the long run.

“Local Partnerships for Building a Black Sea Center for Blue Growth and Innovation” presented the expert Prof. Dr. Sevdalina Turmanova, Deputy Regional Governor of Bourgas District and Regional Representative of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences for Burgas and the region, and Prof. Dr. Fatih Konukuch – Coordinator of the Ecosystems Educational Program at Namik Kemal University, Turkey, made a presentation of the Ecosystems Educational Program and the project partners presented their vision for its application in their regions.

 

 

Participation in the Training for Beneficiaries of the 1st Call for Proposals on Black Sea Basin ENI CBC Programme 2014-2020

 

May, 22, 2019

Via Pontica Foundation team, involved in project management of the „Innovative Techniques and Methods for Reducing Marine Litter in the Black Sea Coastal Areas”, priority 2.2. “Awareness Raising and Joint Actions for Reducing River and Marine Litter”, Joint Operational Programme “Black Sea Basin 2014-2020” and partners from Burgas Municipality, took part in the training for beneficiaries of the 1st call for proposals on Black Sea Basin ENI CBC Programme 2014-2020. The event was held on 22 May 2019 in Cherno More Hotel, Varna, Bulgaria.

The training session aimed to increase the beneficiaries’ capacity to ensure smooth and correct implementation of the funded projects, to present basic rules and regulations, related to correct and accurate reporting of activities and resources used, to share practical examples and case studies from the previous programming period and other implemented projects to avoid mistakes and violations and to improve the working environment.

The following topics were discussed:

-Overview of the general rules for project implementation

-Established FLC system and procedures and rules for providing national co-financing

-Reporting: Progress, Intermediate and Final Reports – in eMS Internal and external communication – information and visibility rules

-Modifications (through Notification or Addendum) to the Grant Contract

-Internal project monitoring External Monitoring – frequency, aspects which will be monitored

-Expenditure Verification-general context and specific rules

-On the spot verification

 

Via Pontica Foundation Participated in a Meeting under Measure 5 of the Maritime Strategy of the Republic of Bulgaria

 

Basic scheme of superficial sea currents and main land-based sources and hot spots of marine pollution in the Black Sea region

On June 5, 2019, the World Environment Day, the Black Sea Basin Directorate of the Ministry of Environment and Water organized an Information Meeting to raise awareness of the consequences for the marine environment caused by marine waste at the Black Sea Hotel in the city of Varna.
It was attended by experts from IO-BAS, MOEW, Green Balkans NGO and Via Pontica Foundation and representatives of the business sector, as well as the general public.

The Coordinator of the project Innovative Techniques and Methods for Reducing Marine Litter in the Black Sea Coastal Areas”, priority 2.2. “Awareness Raising and Joint Actions for Reducing River and Marine Litter, Joint Operational Programme “Black Sea Basin 2014-2020”, Ana Yancheva, from the Via Pontica Foundation presented the progress and the expected results of the actions undertaken by the Via Pontica Foundation together with the Burgas Municipality partner on the Measure 5 of the Marine Strategy of the Republic of Bulgaria.

She announced that alongside the main activities of the Project, in support of the targeted policy to reduce the pollution of the Black Sea and coastal regions, the Via Pontica Foundation and the Municipality of Burgas regularly organize educational campaigns and seminars for children, students, and the general public to promote and popularize the pollution prevention activities and to clean beach / coastlines through volunteer participation and production of information materials (posters, brochures, leaflets, etc.) and distribution videos through the redmarlitter.eu, viapontica.org and mass media websites.

Measure No 5 concerns the coordinated organization / support of annual business awareness campaigns (merchants, beach concessionaires, beach service users, fishermen, etc.) and the public (tourists, students, children, etc.), with regard to the consequences for the marine environment caused by marine litter and the need for their recycling.

For more information, please see “News”.

 

Press Release

 

Innovative Databaze for Marine Litter Pollution of the Black Sea Was Presented in Burgas

 

On September 25, 2019, an innovative online platform providing data on the Black Sea currents and marine litter pollution was presented at the Flora Exposition Center in Burgas. The platform is designed so that data can be added to it by both scientific organizations and individual citizens who have monitored the waste. The system will enable the marine litter pollution to be tracked in a more complete and accessible way and will support both the research in the area and volunteering for the Black Sea.

The platform was developed by the team under the project “ Innovative Techniques and Methods for Reducing Marine Litter in the Black Sea Coastal Areas” (BSB552 RedMarLitter), in which the leading partner, the Via Pontica Foundation, teams with the Municipality of Burgas and two universities – “Ovidius” from Constanta, Romania and Tbilisi State University, Georgia and covers data from the three countries. Subsequently, it is expected to be supplemented by data from other Black Sea countries.

 

 

The presentation of the online database was part of the second monitoring meeting on the project BSB552 RedMarLitter, which was held from 24-26 September 2019.

The project is implemented by priority 2.2. “ Awareness Raising and Joint Actions for Reducing River and Marine Litter”, Joint Operational Programme “Black Sea Basin 2014-2020”.

 

 

In addition to the ongoing project procedures, the representatives from all stakeholder groups had the opportunity to participate in a monitoring campaign. In line with the current interactive approach on September 25, 2019 starting at 10 am on the beach north of Burgas Salt Lakes, in collaboration with the Naval Academy “N. Y. Vaptsarov” a demonstration of the on-site work and presentation of techniques and methods of conducting a monitoring campaign was conducted.

 

 

Open discussions with experts and partners sharing valuable feedback in exchange knowledge regarding the progress of the planned activities and the presentation of the created computer-based platform for marine waste monitoring were the focus of the meeting. Next on the agenda, is the implementation of the updated managerial and procurement plan. The participation of external contractors, regional experts, local and academic authorities was highly appreciated by the team of all RedMarLitter partners.

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