COVID-19 has been a global challenge without precedent, generating serious and multilevel concerns. Several studies focus on the positive effects, as pollution and greenhouse gas emissions have fallen across continents, however environmental stakeholders have spotted dramatic direct and indirect effects of the COVID-19 to the oceans and the life below water.
In particular, the surge of the pandemic has led to the increased use of plastic medical and protective equipment, such as single-use gloves, masks and aprons. Much of this equipment must be discarded after use to limit the spread of the virus. Environmental organisations in Europe’s coastal areas have come across large quantities of latex gloves, face masks and bottles of hand sanitiser in the Mediterranean Sea upon exploration.
This development indicates a new kind of pollution that adds to the already existing plastic problem and poses environmental, economic, health and aesthetic problems.
The goal and objective of OCEA(n)RT is to mobilize the youth population so to address this environmental disaster. Youth could undertake a pioneer role in the area and lead activities aiming at raising awareness on the ocean protection and the pandemic relevance to plastic litter.
The OCEA(n)RT project will:
- Extend the competences of youth workers, in order to work and collaborate with CSO’s, youth and environmental organisations, cultural and creative sector grassroots; fostering their ability to enhance youth participation and to motivate other youth and peers to address pandemic relevance to plastic litter through visual art works.
- Enhance access to relevant roadmaps and good practices to ensure youth participation in ocean protection activities
- Support CSO’s, youth and environmental organisations, cultural and creative sector grassroots to raise public awareness, in order to lead and contribute to the development of youth policies that promote active participation of youth in the fight against marine plastic litter.