It is based in Athens, Greece and has been steadily functioning since the early 90s as a technical and political platform for the presentation of the views and concerns of NGOs at national, Mediterranean, European and global level. In collaboration with governments, international organizations and other socio-economic actors, MIO-ECSDE plays an active role in protecting the environment and the tangible and intangible cultural heritage and in promoting sustainable development in the Mediterranean region.
Amongst the tools that MIO-ECSDE uses are networking, knowledge sharing, education & awareness, public participation in decision making processes, capacity building, etc. Its main focal areas are water, nature and biodiversity, waste and marine litter, the marine environment, sustainable production and consumption, cultural heritage, etc. MIO-ECSDE also facilitates several networks of major Mediterranean stakeholders who play a key role in addressing the region’s environmental and sustainable development challenges such as the Circle of Mediterranean Parliamentarians (COMPSUD), a Circle of Journalists (COMJESD), a network of Mediterranean Universities, and a wide network of educators (MEdIES www.medies.net).
MIO-ECSDE has a long standing experience at technical, policy, advocacy and awareness raising level when it comes to waste and specifically marine litter. Since 1993 it has been active in the Euro- Mediterranean scene on marine protection and marine litter issues. MIO-ECSDE has contributed in the drafting, reviewing and consultation process of the UNEP/MAP, MEDPOL Strategic Action Programme for the Management of marine litter in the Mediterranean and has been actively involved in the elaboration of the Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter Management (adopted at the COP18 in December 2013).
In 2008, MIO-ECSDE in cooperation with UNEP/MAP (WHO/MED POL), HELMEPA and Clean up Greece prepared the “Assessment of the status of marine litter in the Mediterranean”. In addition, MIO-ECSDE participates in and contributes to the work carried out by the European Union/ Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) Good Environmental Status (GES) Technical Subgroup on Marine Litter.
MIO-ECSDE has been involved in several projects tackling directly or indirectly the issue of marine litter including: the FP7 project “MARine LItter in Europe’s Seas: Social AwarenesS and CO-Responsibility (MARLISCO)”; the EU funded pilot project on the plastic recycling cycle and its loopholes in the four European regional seas; the H2020 Capacity Building / Mediterranean Environment Programme; the Keep the Mediterranean Litter-free Campaign; etc. Currently MIO-ECSDE leads the marine litter assessment related component of the DeFishGear project.