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UN Environment and Japan Announce Marine Litter Initiative

New cooperation to boost knowledge on marine litter in Southeast Asia and India

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Press Releases

Bangkok, 4 March 2019 – Japan and the United Nations Environment Programme today announced they will join hands in effort to boost information and know-how to develop countermeasures against marine plastic litter in Southeast Asia and India.

The new initiative, Promotion of countermeasures against marine plastic litter in Southeast Asia and India, will develop a simulation model for plastic leakage and monitor to determine leakage hot-spots along the Ganges and Mekong rivers. Additionally in India, provincial and local governments in Mumbai, Agra, and selected cities along the Ganges will receive support to stop plastic pollution. The Government of Japan has earmarked 123 million Japanese yen – over US$1,100,000 – to support the initiative starting March 2019, which be implemented by the UN Environment Programme Asia and the Pacific Office based in Bangkok, Thailand.

In recent years, global attention on marine litter and plastic pollution has surged. However, scientific knowledge on marine plastic litter and effective countermeasures remains insufficient.

The Government of Japan stressed its determination to tackle marine litter issue with the international community. A spokesperson for the Government said, ”Through this initiative, alongside employing Japanese knowledge and experience and collaboration between UN Environment Programme and JICA, we are working to solve the issue of marine plastic litter in Southeast Asia and India. Moreover, we will continue to exercise our leadership in promoting measures by the international community as a whole, including supporting emerging countries in combating marine plastic litter, to realize a world without pollution.”

“The scale of plastic pollution is a major problem affecting our oceans and our planet. With this initiative, we’re taking important steps to tackle the problem at its source rather than downstream,” said Dechen Tsering, Regional Director for UN Environment Programme in Asia and the Pacific. “This is an important opportunity for Asian countries to improve knowledge on marine plastic litter. By addressing the problem here, we can make great strides toward a planet free of plastic pollution. We are thrilled to have the support of the Government of Japan to confront this challenge.”

Photo courtesy of The Plastic Ocean Project

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