A community-based approach for site-specific policies and solutions on marine litter: the example of Paphos, Cyprus

Environmental Systems and Decisions 2020, in-print (online first)


We are living in the ‘plasticene’ era. Marine plastic pollution is a global problem, and increasing effort and funds are being invested towards identifying and implementing solutions. It is well accepted that the implemented solutions should take into account local specificities and culture, which requires the involvement and engagement of local decision-makers and key actors. This paper presents how the DeCyDe-4 method, which is based on a participatory decision-support concept, was implemented to develop community-based policy tools and action plans to combat marine litter. Through a presentation of the step-by-step implementation of the method at a 3-day workshop in the Paphos District of Cyprus, the DeCyDe-4 method is unfolded so as to showcase how a multi-disciplinary group of local stakeholders can co-create a Policy Tool, and identify and prioritize measures and solutions to marine litter. The case study shows that DeCyDe-4 can support a varied group of stakeholders to negotiate a complex environmental problem such as marine litter, and to make informed, unbiased decisions, through a process that encourages active participation and dialogue, so that opposite opinions are heard, consensus is reached and ownership of the solutions is achieved.