The UNEP publication notes that quantifiable results "showed a significant improvement in coastal cleanliness."

 Israel's clean coast program cited in UN report on marine litter


"Clean Coast" garbage bag (Photo: Galia Pasternak)

(Communicated by the Israel Ministry of Environmental Protection)

Within the framework of a comprehensive report on the status of marine litter in seas and coasts, published by the United Nations Environment Programme’s Regional Seas Programme and the Ocean Conservancy in April 2009, Israel is cited for its Clean Coast Program. The program is dedicated to improving the cleanliness level on the country’s beaches through assistance to local authorities, education and information and increased enforcement.

The UN report, "Marine Litter: A Global Challenge," relates to the problem of marine litter in UNEP’s assisted Regional Seas and the authors analyze the problems generated by litter accumulation in seas and coasts from a regional perspective.

The report concludes that marine litter is an environmental, economic, human health and aesthetic problem, whose root lies in "poor practices of solid waste management, a lack of infrastructure, various human activities, an inadequate understanding on the part of the public of the potential consequences of their actions, the lack of adequate legal and enforcement systems and a lack of financial resources."

The report repeatedly underlines the importance of regional and global cooperation and collaboration to prevent and solve the problem of marine litter and stresses the need for local community participation as part of the solution.

In the Mediterranean chapter of the publication, Israel’s Clean Coast Program, which has been operated by the Ministry of Environmental Protection for the past four years, with the active participation of local authorities and the general public, is specifically mentioned. The publication notes that quantifiable results "showed a significant improvement in coastal cleanliness" and that this was achieved "in cooperation with inspectors of the Marine and Coastal Environment Division, wide-scale media coverage and long-term educational plans and cooperation with organizations."