The first “Prevent Plastic Pollution” conference took place in Limassol, Cyprus, on April 6-8, 2022. The International Sailing Schools Association (ISSA) and the German-Polish-Swedish “Pomerania” Fleet of the International Yachting Fellowship of Rotarians (IYFR) invited prominent speakers and participants from 15 countries, who represented inter alia the following institutions:
ISSA and affiliated schools
“Pomerania” IYFR Fleet
World Maritime University (WMU)
Shipping Deputy Ministry of the Republic of Cyprus
Limassol Tourism Board
Department of Fisheries and Marine Research of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Cyprus
Neubrandenburg University of Applied Sciences
Tourism Industry of Cyprus
PiBiR Investment Fund
Terra Cypria Organization
The International SeaKeepers Society
Scope of the conference
The presentations and discussions covered:
General categories and issues related to marine litter.
Legal framework for yachting from the international regulations point of view (MARPOL).
Practical application and issues related to international maritime regulations.
Local initiatives concerning marine pollution prevention.
General considerations for the strategy to prevent plastic pollution.
Results of research for eco-friendly products.
Examples of plastic recycling solutions.
Green Guide (developed by the SeaKeepers Society) as a sample for a path to follow.
Instances of cooperation between the yachting community and researchers.
Influence of social media initiatives on plastic pollution prevention.
Conclusions of the conference
The conference resulted in the following conclusions:
Cyprus is an excellent example of the implementation of eco-friendly solutions. It is worth being promoted. It is a perfect base to develop the next steps for the ISSA in a mature environment open to a conscious approach to marine environmental literacy.
ISSA and its partners will engage in social media actions to raise awareness of plastic pollution and promote habits to prevent it.
More promotional materials will be developed in cooperation with partners from the conference.
Regular promotion will take place [set a dedicated website/social media site).
Based on the Green Guide for Boating developed by the SeaKeepers Society, an ISSA style booklet for yachting will be created and promoted in the public education sector.
A workgroup will be established to review, clarify and/or develop an international and/or regional legal framework (a so-called “small craft MARPOL”) for small vessels. It has been established that marinas are crucial in ensuring that leisure sailing is environmentally sustainable. Therefore, the workgroup will focus on developing adequate guidelines and requirements. The first step of this action will be to agree on the scope of cooperation between ISSA and WMU.
Further work on standardisation for skipper education in the Mediterranean is needed.
A contact group will be established to follow the progress of the conference outcomes.
Parties interested in further developments will receive a regular update on the progress in activities.
Following events of a similar nature are planned. The initial proposal for the next venue is Szczecin, Poland, or Berlin, Germany.
A declaration against war in Ukraine was signed by majority of the conference participants.
Chairman of the Administrative Council of the ISSA
Commodore of the IYFR “Pomerania” Fleet