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Waves of Change: Global lessons to inspire local action

Date: March 20-25, 2011

Location: Honolulu, Hawai‘i, USA

Co-organizers: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the United Nations Environment Programme

It is our hope that this conference will open a new chapter in the field of marine debris by reinvigorating our efforts, providing new tools and information, and inspiring innovation. This new era relies on sharing across borders—building upon successes, taking away lessons from others’ experiences, and working towards common goals. This conference is being designed with a variety of tracks, themes, and session types, with all paths leading to the shared goal of moving forward, globally and locally, in combating the economic and environmental impacts of marine debris.

Using sound science as a foundation, the Fifth International Marine Debris Conference is designed to reach beyond the “typical conference”; participants should expect innovative sessions and workshops, an ambitious agenda, and every opportunity to share and learn from the experiences and passion of others.

We hope that this conference will successfully build new partnerships, further raise public awareness and support, and inspire follow-up actions that will take us closer to a world free of the impacts of marine debris.

Anticipated Conference Outcomes

  1. Insight and solutions– This conference will…
    1. Heighten global understanding and appreciation of the threats posed by marine debris, the cost to coastal communities and marine biodiversity, and the sources of marine debris
    2. Highlight recent advances in marine debris research
    3. Encourage sharing of strategies and best practices to assess, reduce, and prevent the impacts of marine debris
    4. Provide an opportunity for the development of collaborative solutions to real problems, including specific bilateral or multi-country strategies
    5. Emphasize the importance of individual behavioural change in preventing marine debris
  2. Better integration of marine debris management strategies with product design, waste prevention, solid waste management, and maritime waste management strategies around the world.

Anticipated Conference Outputs

  • “The Honolulu Commitment” – a multi-stakeholder pledge to address marine debris (this will be a non-negotiated statement prepared by a representative drafting committee reflecting key principles, messages and commitments stemming from the conference).
  • Action Plans – including, but not limited to, The Honolulu Strategy: A global strategy for the prevention, reduction and management of marine debris.
  • New Partnerships and Alliancesmulti-stakeholder partnerships, large and small, will be announced or initiated at the conference. These will be focused on global awareness raising, stakeholder involvement, research and development, policy development and enforcement, waste prevention and management, debris removal and cleanup initiatives, etc.
  • Key Messages identified and used to raise high-level attention to marine debris.
  • VIP Media Events during and subsequent to the conference reflecting conference findings.
  • A Co-Chair’s Summary of the Conference; Conference Proceedings.
  • Communications Tools  includes a web page and other multimedia products showcasing conference messages, key findings, success stories, best-practice models, and emerging issues, along withpresentations, art displays, field trips, and workshops.
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