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Asia-Pacific countries get ready to tackle marine plastic litter : IMO

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BUSAN : The first regional task force meeting for Asia-Pacific countries in a major international project to help reduce marine plastic litter from maritime transport and fishing sector has been held in Busan, Republic of Korea. The task force meeting under the IMO- Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) GloLitter Partnerships Project brought together 20 participants from 10 countries.  

GloLitter Lead Partner Countries (LPCs) presented their draft National Action Plans addressing Sea-based Marine Plastic Litter (SBMPL). Partnering Countries (PCs) shared situational analyses of sea-based sources of marine plastic litter at the national level and presented existing gaps where work needs to eb done to address marine plastic litter. 

With guidance from the GloLitter Partnerships Project’s Coordinating Unit, the countries discussed potential joint regional activities where lead partner and partnering countries would establish bilateral and multilateral twinning activities based on the problems and commonalities identified to address the global issue of sea-based marine plastic litter. Within the next few weeks, the twinned countries will present a detailed proposal to the GloLitter coordinating unit that outlines joint activities and resources required from GloLitter to implement the proposed twinning arrangements. It is anticipated that implementation of selected twinning activities will commence before the end of the year.  

The Regional Task Force meeting was sponsored by Governments of Norway, Australian and Saudi Arabia and took place at the start of the 7th International Marine Debris Conference, which is being held  in Busan. GloLitter hosted and participated in a technical session on Sea-based Marine Plastic Litter SBMPL presenting its goals and project progress to date. 

The GloLitter Partnerships Project is implemented by IMO and 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.   

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