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The Regional Secretary for the Environment and Natural Resources promotes tomorrow, 4 January, the ‘Conference: Marine Lixo – Global Problem vs. Local Reality’. The event begins at 10 am in the auditorium of the Campo da Barca building in Funchal.

This issue has been widely publicised by the general population, however, millions of tons of garbage are still being dumped into the ocean. The major focuses of the problem are presented in coastal areas where human activity is most intense.

Marine litter is made up of many types of materials that reach the sea in a variety of ways. According to United Nations data, approximately 80% of all litter found in the sea is land-based. The other 20% is related to maritime activities.

Within its remit, it is the responsibility of the Regional Director for Spatial Planning and Environment (DROTA) to coordinate, integrate and support the development of different public policies affecting the sea, particularly in the areas of education, knowledge, research, environmental protection and coastal economies and the economy of the sea.

In this sense, the conference will take a global approach to the problem of marine litter, carried out by Pedro Sepúlveda – Project Coordinator for the OSPAR Regional Plan of Action for Marine Litter, at the OSPAR Commission, and then to the regional reality exposed by João Canning Clode – Assistant researcher and scientific coordinator of the Madeira Polo at MARE – Center for Marine and Environmental Sciences.