September 18 (Sun) - 23 (Fri), 2022

Busan, Republic of Korea

Technical Sessions

Guidance Document for Technical Sessions Submissions

The 7th International Marine Debris Conference (7IMDC) is launching a call for Technical Sessions and will be accepting submissions of proposals from the 15th of November to Friday, January 7th, 2022. Update: this deadline has been extended by two weeks to Friday, January 21st, 2022.​

Following the highly successful 5th and 6th IMDCs in 2011 and 2018, the 7th International Marine Debris Conference will be convened from the 18th to the 22nd of September 2022 in Busan, Republic of Korea. The conference is co-hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries of the Republic of Korea, with the organizational support of the Korea Marine Environment Management Corporation (KOEM) and the technical support of the United States’ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The 7IMDC aims to bring together a wide range of stakeholders from civil society, academia, governmental and intergovernmental agencies, the private sector, and more, to advance solutions and catalyze action towards the elimination of marine debris and its impacts on the environment, human health, and the economy.

The conference will be structured around a series of substantive Technical Sessions, which will form the core part of its agenda. This document contains essential information for anyone considering submitting a proposal for a Technical Session. Proposals will be accepted from Monday the 15th of November to Friday the 7th of January, 2022. Update: this deadline has been extended by two weeks to Friday, January 21st, 2022. Late submissions are not guaranteed consideration.

Proposals for Technical Sessions should be submitted by completing the following webform: Submission Form for Technical Sessions
No other submission formats will be accepted.

Separate submission processes will be launched for abstracts and posters in early 2022. We recommend all interested parties subscribe to the 7IMDC mailing list on the conference main page ( in order to receive all the latest news and information on the conference, including updates on abstracts, posters, travel awards, and more.

1. Tracks for Technical Sessions

The 7IMDC is inviting submissions for sessions along a variety of “Tracks”, listed below with non-exhaustive lists of sub-topics. In the submission form you will be asked to select a primary and a secondary track for the proposed Technical Session. To ensure a diversity of sessions, proposals that are similar in scope and subject may be asked to merge and work together on a joint session.

  • 1. Monitoring

    Can include citizen science, litter monitoring programs, monitoring against targets/goals, assessments, hotspot identification, detection, monitoring tools and tech, and more.

  • 2. Research

    A very broad topic that can include primary and secondary research into nearly any aspect of the marine litter and plastic pollution issue, including microplastics and microfibers, risk assessments, fate and transport of debris, impacts of litter on the environment and/or human health, and more.

  • 3. Technology

    Can include any use of new or developing technologies to address marine litter and plastic pollution, such as remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), remote sensing, advances in litter recognition software, litter capture or removal technologies, material science, chemical recycling, and more.

  • 4. Innovation

    Can include innovative approaches anywhere along the plastic value chain, such as innovative approaches to plastics management, innovative policies or practices, innovative research or outreach methods, and more.

  • 5. Education, Awareness & Communication

    Can include formal education at primary, secondary, or higher education levels, awareness campaigns, media, outreach, consumer engagement, behavior change, and more.

  • 6. Regulations, Laws & Policy

    Can include the development, implementation, or enforcement of legislative, policy or regulatory approaches, action plans, deposit-return schemes, consumer information and engagement, extended producer responsibility, economic incentives, bans, environmental justice, and more.

  • 7. Waste Management

    Can include advances in waste collection and transport, management, recycling processes, disposal, public engagement and behavior change, waste leakage identification and mitigation, wastewater, and more.

  • 8. Circularity

    Can include improved design, application of the reduction, reuse, redesign, repair, and recycling (5Rs) principle, creating value from waste, promotion of closed-loop systems and more circular production cycles, and maximizing resource efficiency and minimizing waste generation, from source to sea and throughout the life cycle of plastics.

  • 9. Private Sector Engagement/Contributions/Solutions

    Can include public/private partnerships (PPPs), private sector initiatives and engagement, and more.

  • 10. Economics & financing

    Can include approaches for the financing of interventions or actions to address marine litter and plastic pollution, funding mechanisms, trade, the economics of waste and its economic impacts on various industries or systems.

  • 11. Sea-based Sources

    Can include prevention and/or removal of abandoned, lost, and discarded fishing gear (ALDFG), shipping waste, aquaculture waste, management of fiberglass hull vessels, abandoned or lost vessels, and more.

  • 12. International Collaboration

    Can include intergovernmental cooperation, global stakeholder fora, regional processes, and more.

  • 13. Other

    Any subjects that do not fit under any of the above categories can be submitted under ‘other’, and a space is allocated in the submission form (Question 21) to provide a short justification for why this new subject should be considered.

2. Session Chair and Co-Chair

Each Technical Session will have one Chair and, optionally, one Co-Chair. The Chair and Co-Chair will be the focal points for their session vis-a-vis the 7IMDC and will receive all communications from the conference team regarding their session. Should other organizations or individuals aside from the Chair and Co-Chair be involved in the preparation or delivery of the session, it will be the Chair’s and Co-Chair’s responsibility to coordinate with them.

Proposals for Technical Sessions should be submitted by individuals prepared to serve as either Session Chair or Co-Chair. Chair and/or Co-Chair responsibilities are the following: session planning, speaker invitations, supporting abstract reviews and selection, moderating and managing their session during the conference, and preparing a session summary to be included in the conference proceedings.

Please note that if Session Chairs or Co-Chairs will also be presenting in their sessions, they will have to separately submit an abstract through the abstract submission and selection process. Being the Chair or Co-Chair to a Technical Session will not necessarily be considered an advantage in the abstract selection process. If Chairs or Co-Chairs intend to serve only in a moderating capacity and will not present substantively, no abstract is required.

3. Speakers

Speakers for each session will be drawn from the abstract selection process, which will run separately from this Technical Sessions submission process and will be opened in January 2022. If Chairs/Co-Chairs already have ideas of speakers for their sessions, these can be included in their proposal however this does not grant the named speaker automatic entry to the conference or a place in the session. All prospective speakers will need to submit an abstract which must be selected through that process, after which the Chair/Co-Chair may formally select the speaker for their session.

4. Session Format and Length

Technical sessions can be proposed either as presentation-based or panel discussions and can be either 60 or 90 minutes in length. Longer sessions can offer a good opportunity for several stakeholders to coordinate and collaborate on one 90-minute session rather than individually applying for shorter sessions. Of course, due to time constraints, fewer 90-minute sessions will be selected.

Presentation-based sessions tend to be more classroom-style with a succession of speakers and a question & answer period at the end; they are well suited to conveying information to an audience, presenting material, or sharing results and news. Panel discussions are more conversation-oriented and interactive; they serve to share the opinions and insights of the panelists, and stronger audience interaction is encouraged.

In a spirit of innovation, the 7IMDC welcomes ideas for other types of session formats but these must be carefully justified in the proposal for them to be considered – including any logistical considerations as appropriate.

5. Evaluation Criteria

Session proposals will be evaluated on technical merit; pertinence for the greater marine debris community; ability to engage scientists, policymakers, natural resource managers, and industry representatives; and the ability to show a breadth of engagement across disciplines. We are seeking high-quality submissions and encourage innovative session proposal submissions from persons at all stages of their careers. Technical Sessions may be combined at the organizers’ discretion if there is sufficient overlap in subject matter.

6. Language Criteria

English is the official language of the conference, and we encourage proposal submissions for sessions to be in English to ensure the session attains the broadest possible audience. However, proposals for sessions in other languages will be considered if the goal is to reach a specific target audience.

7. Travel Awards

A limited number of travel awards will be made available in order to enable the participation of stakeholders who may not otherwise be able to attend the conference. Applicants from low- and middle-income countries will be prioritized. Travel awards may be variable and may cover the cost of international travel to Busan, the cost of accommodation in Busan, the cost of the conference registration, or a combination of these three options. Any participants requiring visas to enter the Republic of Korea will be responsible for applying, paying, and obtaining these well in advance. Only applicants who have been selected for either a Technical Session, an abstract, or a poster will be considered for travel awards.

8. COVID-19

The Executive Committee of the 7IMDC will remain closely apprised of the public health situation in Busan, in the Republic of Korea, and in the world, and will take all applicable precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The conference is currently planned to take place in person in Busan, with expanded opportunities for online and remote engagement. Should this need to change due to the evolution of the public health situation, participants will be informed at the earliest opportunity. In all scenarios, the conference is expected to take place, with the “worst case” scenario being a fully online conference.

9. Important Dates

Technical Sessions

Call for Technical Sessions Monday, November 15th, 2021​
Technical Sessions Submission Deadline​ Friday, January 7th, 2022 Deadline extended to Friday, January 21st, 2022
Selected Technical Sessions will be notified by Monday, February 14th, 2022

*Kindly note these dates may be subject to change as the situation evolves. Any changes will be communicated as soon as possible through the website and mailing list.

Abstracts and Posters

Call for Abstracts and Posters Monday, February 14th, 2022
Abstract/Poster Submissions Due Friday, April 8th, 2022
Abstract/Poster Notification Deadline Wednesday, May 11th, 2022

*Kindly note these dates may be subject to change as the situation evolves. Any changes will be communicated as soon as possible through the website and mailing list.​

Conference Registration Period

Early bird registration period To Be Announced Soon
Regular registration period To Be Announced Soon
Conference Program Announced Wednesday, June 1st, 2022​

*Kindly note these dates may be subject to change as the situation evolves. Any changes will be communicated as soon as possible through the website and mailing list.​

Conference Dates

7IMDC Conference September 18th-23rd, 2022

*Kindly note these dates may be subject to change as the situation evolves. Any changes will be communicated as soon as possible through the website and mailing list.​

10. Contact

For more information about the 7th International Marine Debris Conference, visit the website at We strongly encourage all interested parties to subscribe to the 7IMDC mailing list, which can be found at the bottom of the conference website main page. Should you have additional questions after having reviewed this document, please contact We kindly ask that you do not contact UNEP, NOAA, or ROK officials directly regarding the status of submissions for Technical Sessions.

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