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Members of our team are currently in Cork, Ireland for the kick-off meeting of a new Horizon Europe project “Source to Seas – Zero Pollution 2030” led by the University College Cork (UCC). Bringing together 10 partners from 8 different countries, the 4-year project aims to establish the foundations to achieve zero pollution in the European seas by 2030.

Marine contamination and pollution occur as a direct result of human activities on both land and in the marine environment. Instances of marine pollution require urgent attention as healthy and clean seas provide numerous ecosystem services (e.g. food, oxygen production, climate regulation), which are critical for our survival and wellbeing. Given the complex and interconnected nature of marine pollution, the integration of sustainability-focused agendas and circular economy principles and practices is essential for the development of effective mitigation actions that can reduce pollutant emissions and impacts.

The SOS-ZEROPOL2030 project will co-create and deliver a stakeholder led European Seas zero pollution framework that provides practical guidance from ‘source to sea’ on how to address shortcomings in existing marine pollution management and governance approaches. The holistic approach is based on best practice and puts emphasis on human behaviour, socioeconomics and governance.

Marine pollution is a considerable global socio-economic challenge that requires the active collaboration of multiple stakeholders across a range of geographic areas. The implementation of processes and measures to reduce marine pollution will have both positive and negative consequences for numerous economic sectors at local, national, and regional scales.

GRID-Arendal’s main role in this project will be to connect with target audiences through science communication, dissemination and outreach.

Partners in the project are: University College Cork - UCC (Ireland), Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee – VLIZ (Belgium), Wageningen University – WU (Netherlands), Universitat Wien – UNIVIE (Austria), SINTEF Ocean AS – SO (Norway), Stichting Wageningen Research – WR (Netherlands), Black Sea NGO Network – BSNN (Bulgaria), Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development Association – MIO-ECSDE (Greece), Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies – IASS (Germany).