30 countries join global initiative to tackle marine litter

A major international project that will help reduce marine plastic litter from maritime transport and fishing sectors is up for a successful start, after getting 30 countries on board. Five regions will be represented in this global effort: Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America and the Pacific. 

The GloLitter Partnerships Project is implemented by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), with initial funding from the Government of Norway via the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad). 

The project aims to help the maritime transport and fishing sectors move towards a low-plastics future. To achieve this goal, this initiative will assist developing countries to apply best practices for prevention, reduction and control of marine plastic litter from those sectors.  

Plastic litter has devastating effects on our oceans, marine life and human health. It also has measurable impacts on the fishing and shipping industries.  

Discarded fishing gear can pose a serious risk to fishers as the nets or lines can become entangled in boat propellers or cause engine damage. There is also an economic impact when fishers or fisheries lose their gear or fish species are caught in discarded gear. 

Lost containers might also pose a collision hazard for ships. Reducing and preventing marine plastic litter is vital to safeguard coastal and global marine resources. 

Jose Matheickal, Chief, IMO Department for Partnerships and Projects, welcomed the countries on board: “Marine litter is a scourge on the oceans and on the planet. I am delighted that we have 30 countries committed to joining this initiative and working with IMO and FAO to address this growing issue. Their experience and the development of best practices will serve as a model throughout the world and I look forward to seeing results as the project moves ahead.

“Plastic litter has a devastating impact on marine life and human health,” said Manuel Barange, FAO’s Director of Fisheries and Aquaculture.  “This initiative is an important step in tackling the issue and will help protect the ecosystem as well as the livelihoods of those who depend on the ocean.” 

The 10 Lead Partnering Countries are: Brazil, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria and Vanuatu. 

The 20 Partnering Countries are: Argentina, Cabo Verde, Columbia, Ecuador, Gambia, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Solomon Islands, Sudan, United Republic of Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga and Viet Nam. 

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