26 Jun 2020 Story Oceans & seas

Brainstorming regional cooperation on reducing marine plastics

Representatives from the Chinese government at central and local levels, international organisations, non-governmental organisations, and research institutes brainstormed via a virtual meeting to further reduce marine plastic pollution and enhance cooperation in the East Asian region.

The meeting was organised by the Foreign Environmental Cooperation Centre (FECO) of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment of China on June 24, 2020, with the participation of NOWPAP, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the Environmental Defence Fund, the Conservation International, the Swedish Environmental Research Institute and other institutions.

FECO introduced their cooperation plan with the ASEAN countries such as city alliance, monitoring of marine litter, as well as research in this field. They called for the sharing of experiences and best practices amongst all relevant players. WWF presented their project on reducing pollution with plastics and highlighted the importance of working with product designers to extend the producer’s responsibilities. The Environmental Defence Fund and the Conservation International introduced their work in China as well.

During his intervention, the representative of NOWPAP pointed out that it is very important to prioritise the improvement of waste management to reduce marine litter at source. Japan and the Republic of Korea have accumulated many best practices in waste management. NOWPAP, with its capacity and technical tools available, could be a platform to facilitate knowledge sharing. 

Further discussions were devoted to other critical issues, like how to better cooperate with manufacturers, deepen scientific research, and improve inter-agency and inter-country cooperation on addressing marine plastic pollution.