Global Partnership on Marine Litter Launched
A Global Partnership on Marine Litter, which will be led by the United Nations Environment Programmme (UNEP), was announced on June 18th at a launch event during the Rio+20 conference in Rio de Janeiro.
The new global partnership will act as a co-ordinating forum, bringing together diverse organizations working in the same field and encouraging governments, NGOs, scientists and academics to collaborate.
The new partnership builds on the Honolulu Strategy (pdf)- a global framework for tackling marine litter backed by governments, members of the plastics industry, scientists, and other groups – which was presented at the Fifth International Marine Debris Conference in 2011.
“Marine litter affects communities and seas in every region of the world, and its negative impacts on biodiversity, fisheries and coastal economies are a significant barrier to sustainable development,” said Vincent Sweeney, Co-ordinator of UNEP’s Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities (GPA), at the launch event. “There are many solutions on the table, from curbing plastic bag use, to increasing recycling rates. What is clear, however, is that isolated action will not be enough. Working with a wide range of stakeholders, the Global Partnership on Marine Litter aims to collectively address the issue across national boundaries and develop effective responses that can be replicated and scaled up across the world.”
Overall, the new global partnership will work to achieve the following objectives: (1) Reduce the ecological, human health, and economic impacts of marine litter worldwide; (2) Enhance international cooperation through the promotion and implementation of the Honolulu Strategy; (3) Promote resource efficiency and economic development through waste prevention and recovering valuable materials from waste; and (4) Increase awareness on the sources and impacts of marine litter.