UNEP Launches Global Marine Litter Partnership

UNEP19 June 2012: In an effort to tackle the damage caused by marine litter on the environment, livelihoods and human health, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) launched the Global Partnership on Marine Litter on the sidelines of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20).   

According to UNEP, the Government of the Netherlands, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Plastics Pollution Coalition and a number of UN agencies, signalled their support for the initiative. The Partnership builds on the Honolulu Strategy, a global framework for tackling marine litter backed by governments, members of the plastics industry, scientists, and others, presented at the Fifth International Marine Debris Conference in 2011.

UNEP indicates that the Partnership will act as a coordinating forum, bringing together diverse actors, and encouraging collaboration between governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), scientists and academics to collaborate. UNEP will also host an online forum allowing Partnership members to share information and lessons learned on marine litter.

Objectives of the Partnership are to: reduce the ecological, human health, and economic impacts of marine litter worldwide; enhance international cooperation through the promotion and implementation of the Honolulu Strategy; promote resource efficiency and economic development through waste prevention and recovering valuable materials from waste; and increase awareness on the sources and impacts of marine litter. [UNEP Press Release]