Grant Programme against Marine Litter

As the planet’s largest ecosystems, the oceans offer a habitat and basis for life for a huge number of species. The oceans are also an important source of food and income for humankind. Yet these important ecosystems are increasingly threatened by pollution. Every year, around eight million tonnes of plastic waste are washed into the seas. As a consequence, marine animals mistake this waste for food or become trapped in it and perish. Plastic consumed by sea creatures can also enter the human food chain. Experts have estimated that the volume of plastic waste in the seas will exceed the total mass of fish by 2050.

Marine litter is a global problem that can be solved only by international cooperation. Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 from the United Nations’ Agenda 2030 and several international agreements are addressing the reduction of marine litter as an important contribution to protecting marine ecosystems. During its G7 and G20 presidencies, the German government also placed this topic right at the top of its political agenda.

The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) is supplementing the engagement of the German government with its Grant Programme against Marine Litter ‘Marine Debris Framework – Regional hubs around the globe’ (Marine: DeFRAG). The primary goal here is to cut waste by avoiding it at the source, so plastic waste never ends up in the oceans in the first place. This includes both medium-term measures that work to reduce the volumes of plastic waste as well as short-term measures that establish and develop functional waste and closed-loop management systems. As well as coastal regions and island nations, there is also a focus on countries and regions where plastic waste is transported by river from the interior to the oceans.

The grant programme is also supporting projects for policy consulting, capacity building, technological cooperation and investment, as well as policy and strategy implementation.

Who is eligible for funding?

German federal implementing and non-governmental organisations, companies, universities and research institutions, as well as German subsidiaries of international and multilateral organisations and institutions, which are registered in Germany, can submit applications for funding. They must have a demonstrated expertise in implementing projects in developing countries and emerging markets, as well as in the areas of product development, supply chain management, circular economy and/or waste management. Individuals cannot be funded. Furthermore, governments are not eligible to receive funding directly.

How is funding applied for?

Applications are submitted digitally using the easy-Online electronic form submissions system. The submission deadline was 30 June 2020. Further details of the funding purpose, preconditions and procedure are included in the funding information leaflet, FAQ and project outline template, which can be downloaded using the links shown here. Potential applicants with questions about the grant programme and the submissions procedure are also welcome to contact the project sponsor using the contact details given in the contact box.