NABU, the German association for the protection of nature, made the most of the Kieler Woche (21 to 29 June 2014) to share its dream of "Seas without Plastic" and its practical efforts to combat coastal pollution.
NABU has been working for the preservation of natural habitats and biodiversity for more than a century! Today, its work includes promoting sustainable development and the circular economy in sectors such as agriculture and water and energy management, safeguarding fauna and flora, and fighting climate change. Thousands of volunteers participate in the various operations it organizes in Germany and elsewhere.
During the Kieler Woche, NABU took its "Seas without Plastic" project to the public – in particular it involves working with fishermen. NABU has been actively involved in the project since 2011 through the Fishing for Litter initiative, which aims to raise awareness about marine pollution in the fishing sector and provides a practical solution to the issue of waste disposal.
Interview with Dr. Kim Detloff, Director of Marine Protection for NABU.
Tell us about NABU…
NABU, the German Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union, is the oldest and largest environmental association in Germany - it was founded in 1899 and now has 540,000 members and sponsors. We partner BirdLife International and I am the Head of Marine Conservation at NABU’s head quarter in Berlin.
What was your aim for the Kieler Woche alongside Veolia?
Veolia invited us to take part in the 2014 Kieler Woche in June to present NABU’s "Seas without Plastic" project. It is all about looking after the seas and in particular protecting them from plastic waste. The aim was to bring the issue to the attention of the Kieler Woche audience – made up of sailing and water sports enthusiasts.
What are your recommendations for fighting marine pollution?
A true circular economy is the most important approach to stop the accumulation of waste at sea. There is so much plastics in the seas that it would appear to be an impossible task to clean it all up. So effective measures have to be taken on land - an efficient circular economy, good waste management, recycling incentives and suitable product design. It is precisely in these areas we want to work with partners such as Veolia.
Main picture: Dr. Kim Detloff, credits: ©segel-bilder.de