The discussion explored questions such as:
What type of data is needed to lead to informed management policies?
What can we learn from existing initiatives which collect and store litter data?
What can we learn from previous experiences on measuring and gathering data within the Arctic or from other regions for other environmental monitoring?

Two keynote speeches were followed by a panel discussion during which a number of topics were raised, including:

  • The importance of international cooperation to monitor plastics, putting to good use the past and present experience gained in the Arctic Council through the monitoring of Persistent Organic Pollutants.
  • Researchers should be rewarded not only for writing papers in high profile journals but also for building databases. In this way, data gathering would be far more successful and sustainable through strong ownership from local communities across the Arctic.
  • Keep things as simple and efficient as possible when it comes to monitoring indicators and databases.

The side event was organized by GRID-Arendal, UArctic Thematic Network on Arctic Plastic Pollution and the Norwegian Centre for Oil Spill Preparedness and Marine Environment.

The full report is available here.