Japan and United Nations Environment Programme Announce New Cooperation to Boost Knowledge on Marine Plastic Litter in Southeast Asia and in India

March 4, 2019
Japanese

  1. Japan and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) 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 in 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 hotspots along the Ganges and Mekong. 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 UNEP 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 Govenment of Japan stressed its determination to tackle marine litter issue with intenational community and said: ”Through this initiative, and with its possible options including utilizing Japanese knowledge/experience and collaboration between UNEP and JICA, we would like to contribute to solving 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 emerging countries to combat marine plastic litter, to realize a world without additional 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 UNEP in Asia and the Pacific, said, “This is an important opportunity for Asian countries to improve own knowledge on marine plastic litter so that we can be part of solutions and not problems. 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.”