Region of Crete: Capitalising good coastal practices and improving policies to prevent marine litter
CAPonLITTER aims at improving policies and practices that can help in preventing marine litter that results from coastal tourism and recreational activities. More specifically, the project will focus on key fractions of waste, such as plastic food and drink containers originating from beach facilities and recreational events, due to improper behaviour of consumers but also to lack of incentives and structures for prevention, collection and recycling of waste.
The project involves authorities and organisations from Portugal, Spain, France, Croatia, Greece, Bulgaria and Germany, territories in which coastal tourism is a key economic activity, which is not only highly impacted by marine litter but can also put significant pressure on local infrastructures and generate large amounts of unmanaged waste.
Through an interregional process of exchange of experiences and mutual learning, partners will explore ways to improve their regional policies and promote the implementation of best practices, with the active participation of key stakeholders. The interregional process will result in 7 regional Action Plans that will set into motion the operationalisation of the lessons learned in two ways: on one hand initiating the implementation of the practices in the territories concerned, through the policy framework the partners operate on; and on the other aligning them with other policy instruments, such as operational programmes and specific structural funds that can finance them.
Across these regions, CAPonLITTER will result in various communities of stakeholders commited to zero plastic waste, beaches and coastal events with zero waste management plans in place to prevent marine litter, including significant improvements toward waste prevention, collection and recycle at these coastal sites.
What policy instruments does the project address?
OP SEUR is one of the 16 programmes created for the operationalization of Portugal 2020 Strategy that gathers the action of 5 European Structural and InvestmentFunds – ESIF, Cohesion Fund,ESF, EAFRD and EMFF- in which the programming principles are laid down and mark the economic, social and territorial development policy to be promoted in Portugal between 2014 and 2020.
The strategy for OP SEUR has a multidimensional approach of sustainability based on 3 strategic Investment Axes, from which Axis III – “Protect the environment and promote resource use efficiency” is based specifically on the operationalization of strategies such as for the waste sector, the water sector and related to biodiversity and environmental values.
The types of eligible operations concerning waste management consist in the “Valorisation of the waste by reducing its generation and landfilling, and increasing the selective collection and recycling” such as “actions to prevent the generation and dangerousness of waste, including education and awareness actions”; “to Increase the quantity and quality of multi- material recycling” and “to support systems and initiatives of selective collection of biodegradable municipal waste”.
In addition to these actions, OP SEUR could be improved by broadening the focus to include specific strategies to prevent, combat and recycle marine litter (ML).
The Region of Crete
The Partnership Agreement 2014-2020 (PA), along with the sectoral programmes, includes also 13 multi-sectoral and multi- funded Regional Operational Programmes (OP) in Greece. Crete OP includes projects and regional scale actions, leverages local strengths and is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the European Social Fund. The aim of the OP is to strengthen the capacity of the region and local authorities to implement a full range of actions that aim to serve the main priorities of the PA.
Actions implemented in the region in the last years can be further improved by an integrated design and better managed in terms of division of responsibilities and coordination. Research and installed services and business can contribute to better inform the various aspects of risk and to effectively support the development and implementation of regional plans, namely on waste prevention and management. To protect the coast from pollution, cooperation with other European regions will be also enhanced.
The Region has significant environmental diversity and cultural heritage elements that can strengthen the regional economy. Interventions that have been implemented have contributed to the protection and promotion of these resources but institutional difficulties, shortcomings in spatial planning and delays in implementation, are major hinders.