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 including Sri Lanka on board.
Sri Lanka has joined the Initiative as a partner country while India joined as a Lead partner country.
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.
“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,” Jose Matheickal, Chief, IMO Department for Partnerships and Projects said.
Ten countries have been confirmed as Lead Partnering Countries (LPCs) and a further twenty countries have been selected as Partnering Countries (PCs) of the GloLitter Project.
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.
In the coming months, the Project Coordination Units at IMO and FAO will work with LPCs to develop National Work Plans tailored to the needs of each country, provide necessary technical assistance and training to implement those plans, and facilitate twinning arrangements between LPCs and PCs.