Qingdao City in Shandong province of the People’s Republic of China, and Taean County in South Chungcheong Do province of the Republic of Korea are popular coastal resorts about 600 km apart, on opposite ends of the Yellow Sea, and known for their clean beaches and clear seas.
Shandong and South Chungcheong Do provinces are partners in an environmental initiative that brings together local authorities, businesses and civil society to keep their beaches free of marine litter—a threat to the seas and coasts of East Asia.
Acknowledging the primary role of local governments in protecting the coastal and marine environment, a meeting of a United Nations project to protect the Yellow Sea marine ecosystem held in Qingdao in March 2019 has now agreed to set up a ‘Clean Beach City Alliance’ linking coastal cities in China, Japan and the Republic of Korea with support from the UN Environment Northwest Pacific Action Plan.The 3rd Meetings of the Management, Science and Technical Panel and Interim Commission Council of the United Nations Development Programme / Global Environment Facility Yellow Sea Large Marine Ecosystem project has sought the cooperation of the Northwest Pacific Action Plan, which is promoting regional cooperation against marine litter in Northwest Pacific seas since 2008.
“Local governments are and should be the primary players in reducing marine litter through legislation and establishment of comprehensive policy framework. These enabling conditions will provide a conducive platform to engage business, academia, non-governmental organizations, youth and other stakeholders to take joint actions within their respective areasof expertise,” says a background paper on the ‘Clean Beach City Alliance’ presented at the meeting.