Invited by Bulgarian project partner, the Union of Bulgarian Black Sea Local Authorities to present the experience and examples of youth involvement as a marine litter management tool in Varna region, the Institute for Youth Initiatives and Innovations attended the third International Learning Event (ILE#3). The online event, organized by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) from Croatia took place on 15th of October, 2020.

During the event, Mrs. Polina Antonova, Chairperson of the Institute for Youth Initiatives and Innovations presented different activities aiming at active involvement of young people from Bulgaria in local eco-campaigns, using youth innovative and creative thinking as a tool for changing the behavior of society as a whole about generating less waste in everyday life, its separation and recycling.

Annually, the Institute in partnership with local authorities organizes and coordinates many landscaping campaigns, environmental initiatives, marine litter exhibitions, creative workshops for making jewelry, souvenirs and dress from waste materials and flowers, thus trying to involve young people creative and innovative thinking for using waste materials in daily life.

Using innovative methods based on youth participation on the marine pollution and climate local planning, the Institute team is a supporting structure of local authorities in Bulgaria in respect to prevention and reduction of marine litter on the Black Sea coast.

According to a recent study by scientists from the Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, the Black Sea is one of the most polluted water basins in the world with plastic and microplastic waste. Plastic waste dumped in the Black Sea in just one summer could cover the surface of all its beaches. That’s why the Institute activities are focusing on awareness raising campaigns and initiatives encouraging collection of pervasive items. Involving active young people in specific trainings programs and used them after that as ambassadors and volunteers on beach cleaning campaign, awareness raising events, etc. is one of the most popular economic model at local level to prevent marine litter behavior.

As a non-profit organization, the Institute is supported by different municipal and governmental funds to implement projects and initiatives, supporting active youth participation on local climate actions and planning.

Most of the municipalities on the Black Sea coast provide Small grants scheme to support such initiatives and projects aiming at clean sea and green environment.  

For more information about the CAPonLITTER project in Bulgaria, contact the CAPonLITTER team at UBBSLA ([email protected]) or follow us through the social networks Facebook and Twitter.