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International Symposium on Marine Litter and Coastal Ecosystem Nexus (MariNEX)

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Organized by
Fisheries and Marine Resource Technology Discipline
Khulna University, Khulna, Bangladesh

2-4 October 2024
Khulna University, Khulna 9208, Bangladesh

About the Symposium Marine Litter and Coastal Ecosystem Nexus (MariNEX)

Marine pollution, particularly plastic litter, poses a significant threat to biodiversity, health and well-being of millions of people and animals. The Bay of Bengal, one of the largest and most productive marine ecosystems in the world, is severely impacted by this problem, as it receives about 0.2 million MT of plastic waste per year from Bangladesh alone. Alarmingly, microplastics, which comprise 80% of total marine litter, contaminate the coastal and marine environment, harming the fish and other aquatic life, and disrupting the delicate balance of the mangrove forests that act as a buffer zone between land and sea. The impact of marine litter on the productivity of natural resources is putting impoverished coastal communities at risk of losing their livelihoods, while the entire population is facing increased health risks due to a contaminated food chain. Therefore, addressing marine litter pollution and its impact on the coastal and marine ecosystem as well as managing the mangroves and fisheries resources in a sustainable way, are crucial challenges that require evidence-based knowledge and solutions, in line with the 2030 UN Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals.

In light of these challenges, the International Symposium on Marine Litter and Coastal Ecosystem Nexus (MariNEX) is intended to be a premier international forum for bringing together researchers, practitioners, policymakers and other stakeholders to exchange knowledge, experiences and best practices on the challenges and opportunities of addressing marine litter and its impacts on coastal and marine ecosystems. MariNEX aims to foster the sustainability of natural resources for community resilience by advancing integrated and holistic approaches that consider the interlinkages of marine litter and coastal ecosystem health. The symposium will explore topics such as the origins, pathways and destinations of marine litter, the impacts of marine litter on coastal biodiversity and ecosystem services, the socio-economic and human health consequences of marine litter, the policies and governance frameworks for marine litter management, and the innovative solutions and technologies for marine litter prevention, reduction and removal. The symposium will also feature successful case studies and initiatives from different regions and sectors that illustrate the benefits of addressing marine litter and plastic pollution for coastal ecosystems and communities.

MariNEX will be held in Khulna, Bangladesh, a city that faces multiple challenges from marine litter, coastal erosion, salinity intrusion, flooding and climate change, but also has a rich history of adaptation and resilience. The symposium will provide an opportunity for participants to learn from the local context and experiences, as well as to network and collaborate with experts and peers from different disciplines and backgrounds.

Important dates

  • Abstract Submission Deadline:
    14 Aug 2024
  • Registration Deadline:
    5 Sep 2024
  • Conference Date:
    2-4 October 2024

Unveil the wonders of Bangladesh’s southwest at MariNEX, hosted by the prestigious Khulna University! Nestled in the heart of Khulna City, Khulna University boasts a vibrant campus with state-of-the-art facilities to host this exciting symposium. Explore the rich cultural tapestry of Khulna, and if you’re an adventurer at heart, a glimpse of the majestic Sundarbans awaits just beyond the city limits. Don’t miss the exclusive opportunity (separate registration required) on Day 3 for a limited number of attendees to participate in a river cruise through this breathtaking natural wonder!

MariNEX International Symposium Thematic Areas

Abstract will be accepted on the following thematic areas.
Scholarly articles beyond thematic areas would be considered for presentation at the conference.

1. Unveiling the Impacts of Marine Litter

From Trash to Threat: Understanding Marine Litter's Impact

Millions of tons of plastic waste enter our oceans every year, creating a global environmental crisis. This session delves into the devastating impact of marine litter on coastal ecosystems, exploring its journey from land to sea and the ecological and socio-economic consequences it unleashes. By understanding the severity of the threat, we can pave the way for effective solutions.

2. Transforming Litter into Livelihoods

Waste to Wealth: Sustainable Solutions for Marine Litter and Community Resilience

Marine litter doesn't have to be a dead end. This session explores the concept of turning waste into a valuable resource. We will showcase innovative approaches to collecting, recycling, and upcycling marine litter, highlighting their potential to create sustainable livelihoods for coastal communities. This session explores the exciting intersection of environmental responsibility and economic opportunity.

3.Tackling the Source: Land-Based Solutions for a Cleaner Ocean

Beyond the Coast: Addressing Land-Based Sources of Marine Litter

Plastic pollution in our oceans doesn't magically appear. It originates from land-based activities like improper waste disposal. This session focuses on identifying the root causes of marine litter and exploring effective strategies at the source. We will discuss innovative waste management solutions, policy interventions, and responsible consumption habits, all aimed at preventing plastic pollution from reaching our oceans in the first place.

4. Science Meets Policy: Charting a Course for a Litter-Free Future

Science-Policy Dialogue: Building a Collaborative Approach to Marine Litter Management

Science holds the key to tackling complex environmental challenges like marine litter. This session emphasizes the importance of bridging the gap between scientific research and policy development. By fostering dialogue and collaboration among the stakeholders, we can develop and implement effective policy frameworks that chart a course towards a litter-free future for our oceans.

MariNEX International Symposium Expected Outcome

The widespread presence of marine litter, particularly plastic, poses a significant threat to coastal ecosystems and the communities that depend on them.  To address these challenges and build a more sustainable future, the International Symposium on Marine Litter and Coastal Ecosystem Nexus (MariNEX) aims to achieve the following outcomes:

 

Enhanced Knowledge and Collaboration:

  • Strengthen coordination and collaboration: MariNEX will create a platform for various stakeholders (GOs, NGOs, researchers, practitioners, and the private sector) to strengthen coordination and improve understanding of each other’s activities and future directions. This will be crucial for developing and implementing effective solutions for marine litter management and coastal ecosystem health in Bangladesh and beyond.
  • Knowledge sharing across disciplines and backgrounds: The symposium will provide a platform for knowledge sharing among participants from diverse ecological, political, and economic backgrounds. This cross-disciplinary exchange will foster a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities related to marine litter and its impact on sustainable coastal aquaculture, mangrove ecosystems, and biodiversity conservation.

Actionable Solutions and Strategies:

  • Through knowledge exchange and discussions, the symposium aims to generate concrete action plans and strategies for mitigating marine litter pollution and promoting sustainable management of coastal ecosystems.
  • Future pathways for sustainable solutions: Through collaboration among researchers, policymakers, NGOs, and the private sector, MariNEX will identify future pathways for sustainable solutions to address plastic pollution, other forms of pollution affecting aquaculture in mangrove ecosystems, and the challenges of climate change and coastal protection.

Increased Capacity and Awareness:

  • MariNEX will contribute to capacity building by equipping participants with the knowledge and tools necessary to implement effective marine litter management practices in their respective communities and organizations.
  • The symposium will raise public awareness about the severity of marine litter pollution and its impact on coastal communities and ecosystems.

Strengthened Partnerships and Networks:

  • The symposium will facilitate target-oriented cooperation and joint strategic planning among relevant stakeholders, including government agencies, NGOs, researchers, the private sector, and international organizations. This will be crucial for developing and implementing effective action plans at local, national, and regional levels.
  • MariNEX can provide a platform for stakeholders to influence the shaping of relevant national, international, and intergovernmental policies related to marine litter management, sustainable coastal aquaculture, mangrove ecosystem protection, climate change adaptation, and biodiversity conservation.

The symposium outcomes will contribute to achieving the relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 14 (Life Below Water), SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), and SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Goals). By achieving these expected outcomes, MariNEX will pave the way for a future with cleaner oceans, healthier coastal and mangrove ecosystems supporting robust aquaculture and fisheries resources, and more resilient coastal communities.

Program Schedule

• Scientific Session 1

Navigating Marine Litter Challenges: Impacts and Solutions for Aquatic Resource Health and Sustainable Management

• Scientific Session 2

Transforming Litter to Livelihoods: Exploring the Intersections of Marine Litter, Mangroves, Fisheries and Community Resilience

• Panel Discussion 1

State of affairs and lobal best practices for addressing marine litter problem.

• Poster Session (Parallel)

• Scientific Session 3

Addressing Marine Litter at its Source: The Role of Land-Based Waste Management in Combating Plastic Pollution

• Scientific Session 4

The Science-Policy Nexus: Steering Towards a Litter-Free Coastal and Marine Environment in Bangladesh

• Panel Discussion 2

Stakeholders and governance for improving the health and productivity of coastal ecosystems

• Poster Session (Parallel)

Option 1

Excursion visit to the Sundarbans and exchange with forest resource user group. (separate registration fee applies)

Option 2

Visit to SCIP Project’s Knowledge Transfer Hub, Khulna University of Engineering and Technology (KUET). (free for all participants)

Abstract and Poster Guidelines

Submit your abstract by 14 August 2024

Abstract Preparation

  • Title of Paper: The abstract title should be printed in Capitalize Each Word except preposition. Scientific names should be in italic font type. Font size: 12, Bold; Single line space (please see example).
  • Author(s): Font size: 11. Presenting author must be underlined.
  • Affiliation: Mention the affiliation of all authors with superscript numeric marking. Only mention the email address of presenting author. Font size: 10; single line space.
  • Maximum Length: One page
  • Page Size: Executive 7.25 x 10.5 inch.
  • Page Margins: 1 inch margin in all sides.
  • Font, Size and Spacing: Calibri; 11 and single space.
  • Paragraphs: Paragraphs should be separated by a blank space and should not be indented.
  • Affiliation: Mention the affiliation of all authors with superscript numeric marking. Only mention the email address of presenting author. (Font size: 10; single line space).
  • Figures and Tables: Figure/ table are highly recommended in the abstract. Around one fourth of the page is recommended to allocate for figure/ table. The figure/table should be included in camera-ready format or TIFF format.

Poster Preparation and Presentation

Want to share your research and engage with colleagues at the MariNEX Symposium? Poster presentations are a fantastic way to visually represent your work and  spark discussions.

These guidelines will help you prepare and present an impactful poster.

Poster Presentation Schedule:

  • Two poster sessions are scheduled during the afternoon (4-5 pm) on October 2nd and 3rd, 2024.
  • Posters will be displayed throughout the symposium (October 1st - 3rd).

Setting Up Your Poster:

  • Authors are responsible for setting up their posters in the designated area on the afternoon of October 1st, 2024.
  • Your poster board will be identified with a number – refer to the final program for confirmation.

Poster Size and Mounting:

  • Poster boards (2.5 x 1 m) will be provided.
  • Your poster size should be no larger than A0 (1189 x 841 mm).
  • Double-sided tape, push pins, and other mounting supplies will be available on-site.

Preparing Your Poster:

  • Content: Organize your poster using the standard format of a scientific article: Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion, Conclusions, and Acknowledgements (optional).
  • Clarity: Employ large fonts (Arial >80 pt) for the title, followed by author names and affiliations listed separately and centered. Institute logos, if included, should be minimized and positioned near the title.
  • Flow: Start with the Introduction in the upper left corner and finish with Conclusions in the lower right. Methods, Results & Discussion should occupy the central space.
  • Engagement: Use concise sentences, simple language, and bullet points to illustrate your research. Break up text with graphics and photos.
  • Readability: Employ a non-serif font (e.g., Arial) and ensure all text and graphics are easily readable from a distance of 1-1.5 meters.
  • Balance: Use appropriate spacing between elements for differentiation and emphasis.
  • Completeness: All graphics and tables should include a clear title and legend.
  • Resolution: Ensure all images are high resolution for printing on A0 size.

             

We look forward to seeing your poster at MariNEX!

KEYNOTE SPEAKER

Prof. Dr. Martin Zimmer

Head of Mangrove Ecology Group

Leibniz-Centre for Marine Tropical Research (ZMT); and

Bremen Marine Ecology (BreMarE) & Institute of Ecology

University of Bremen

Tel: +49 (0) 421 23800 161

Email: martin.zimmer@leibniz-zmt.de

Prof. Dr. Martin Zimmer, an esteemed mangrove ecologist, brings unparalleled expertise to MariNEX. He pursues his research interest in interactions in communities under changing environmental conditions in the mangrove ecosystem and the larger coastal and marine ecosystems that the mangrove is part of. Ecological systems are multifaceted. Prof. Zimmer’s interdisciplinary approach bridges gaps between ecology, hydrology, and community dynamics. His holistic view aligns with MariNEX’s exploration of land-based activities impacting marine environments. His insights into mangrove biodiversity, ecosystem services, and conservation strategies have global implications. As a member of the IUCN Species Survival Commission’s Mangrove Specialist Group and as a nominee of the German Government’s Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, Prof. Zimmer brings a policy-oriented lens. Thus, his insights can inform evidence-based decision-making for sustainable coastal management.

International Scientific Committee Members

Dr.-Ing. Thomas Haupt

Deputy Head of the Chair for Resource Management

Bauhaus-Institute for Infrastructure Solutions (b.is)
Bauhaus University Weimar
Germany
Tel: +49 (0)3643 / 58 4650
Email: thomas.haupt@uni-weimar.de

Dipl.-Ing. Senta Berner

Research fellow

Bauhaus-Institute for Infrastructure Solutions (b.is)
Bauhaus University Weimar
Germany
Tel: +49 (0) 3643 / 58 4648
Email: senta.berner@uni-weimar.de

Dr. Md. Nazmul Ahsan

Professor

Fisheries & Marine Resource
Technology Discipline
Khulna University
Khulna 9208, Bangladesh
Tel.: (+88) 01712 248 038
Email: Nazmul_ku@yahoo.com

Dr. Md. Rafizul Islam

Professor

Department of Civil Engineering; &
Project Director, SCIP Plastics Project
Khulna University of Engineering and Technology, Khulna 9203, Bangladesh
Tel: +880171 892 9012
Email: imrafizul@ce.kuet.ac.bd

Dr. Md. Golam Sarower

Professor & Head

Fisheries and Marine Resource
Technology Discipline
Khulna University
Khulna 9208, Bangladesh
Tel: +88 01731 443 838
Email: sarower@yahoo.com

Dr. Stefan A Groenewold

Principal Advisor, SoNG and SUNDAR-BAY projects

Commission Manager
Biodiversity Sector
GIZ Bangladesh
Gulshan, Dhaka 1212, Bangladesh
Tel: +88 01713 556 152
Email: stefan.groenewold@giz.de

Venue

Unveil the wonders of Bangladesh’s southwest at MariNEX, hosted by the prestigious Khulna University! Nestled in the heart of Khulna City, Khulna University boasts a vibrant campus with state-of-the-art facilities to host this exciting symposium. Explore the rich cultural tapestry of Khulna, and if you’re an adventurer at heart, a glimpse of the majestic Sundarbans awaits just beyond the city limits. Don’t miss the exclusive opportunity (separate registration required) on Day 3 for a limited number of attendees to participate in a boat trip through this breathtaking natural wonder!

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Supported By

GIZ, on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, has financed the development of this website

Organized By

Fisheries and Marine Resource Technology Discipline
Khulna University
Khulna, Bangladesh

In association with
Bauhaus-Universität Weimar
SCIP plastics project

Contact

Fisheries and Marine Resource Technology Discipline
Khulna University
Khulna 9208, Bangladesh
Contact Us:

Prof. Dr. Md. Golam Sarower
Head, FMRT Discipline
Khulna University;
and
Chair, MariNEX Organizing Committee
Phone: +8801731443838
Email: sarower@fmrt.ku.ac.bd
 

Dr. Shaikh Tareq Arafat
Associate Professor, FMRT Discipline
Khulna University; and
Member Secretary, MeriNEX Organizing Committee
Phone: +8801913-436242

Email: arafat@fmrt.ku.ac.bd

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