The first official Norwegian centre dedicated to working against marine litter launched on 1 January 2022. The Norwegian Centre against Marine Litter has now begun its work to reduce the amount of plastic in the seas and the Norwegian Centre for Oil Spill Preparedness and Marine Environment has ceased to exist.
“We will bring with us many of the duties we have undertaken since 2018 and we will be a leading centre of excellence on the incidence and clean-up of marine litter. We will also work to prevent litter originating from sea-based sources,” explains Director Ann-Helen Ernstsen.
The centre is now an agency under the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment and has been given a number of new responsibilities as part of the national efforts to combat marine litter.
The centre will lead the government collaboration forum, Statlig samarbeidsforum for FoU oljevern, and establish a collaboration council
The Norwegian Centre against Marine Litter will take over the management of the government collaboration forum from the Norwegian Environment Agency. The collaboration forum was established in 2018 for authorities working on the clean-up of marine litter. The purpose of the forum is to strengthen intersectoral collaboration by sharing knowledge and contributing to effective organisation and distribution of responsibilities in the efforts to clean up marine litter.
The members of the collaboration forum are the Norwegian Environment Agency, the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries, the Norwegian Maritime Authority, the Norwegian Coastal Administration, the Norwegian Coast Guard, the Governor of Svalbard, the Archipelago Service c/o the Oslo Fjord Outdoor Council, the Norwegian Nature Inspectorate and the county governors.
“We look forward to continuing the collaboration forum and building on the work done by the Norwegian Environment Agency. We will also establish a collaboration council for non-government parties, companies and others in order to strengthen collaboration and the coordination of national clean-up efforts,” says Ann-Helen Ernstsen.
Rent hav (Clean Sea) – a tool and sea of data for everyone working with marine litter
Since 2019, the centre has worked to establish effective digital tools for beach clean-up operations in Norway. Going forward, these tools will be crucial elements in the centre’s work to coordinate clean-up efforts and establish an overview and data relating to the efforts and marine litter in Norway. These are among the things the Rent hav tool will help with.
“In February, Rent hav will release a new field solution and new features for inspections, clean-up operations and collection points. The Rent hav website will be updated and given a new look and a separate statistics page,” explains Anja Meland Rød, Project Manager at the centre.
The Rydde app for all beach clean-up volunteers in Norway will also be a priority task for the centre.