The NOWPAP activities related to marine litter have been initiated since November 2005 when the project proposal was approved at the Tenth NOWPAP Intergovernmental Meeting. The first phase, called Marine Litter Activity (MALITA), was completed by the end of 2007. The overall objective of the MALITA project was to develop a NOWPAP Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter (RAP MALI) in order to promote the environmental protection and sustainable development of the NOWPAP region. The second phase of NOWPAP marine litter activities is the implementation of NOWPAP RAP MALI which started in March 2008. Some activities carried out during the MALITA project continue during the RAP MALI implementation.
The MALITA consisted of several components such as collection and review of existing data and information on marine litter, including legal aspects; organization of regional meetings and workshops to share such information as well as to build common understanding of the marine litter issue; development and implementation of a long-term monitoring programme; development of sectoral guidelines for the management of marine litter focusing on fishing, shipping and tourism; and raising public awareness, including education campaigns, as well as approach to the civil society, including private sector, NGOs and the general public.
The MALITA has been successfully implemented under the overall responsibility of the NOWPAP Regional Coordinating Unit (RCU) in close cooperation with the UNEP Regional Seas Programme, the four NOWPAP Regional Activity Centres and the member states.