(Photo for illustration: Reuters)

The five-year project aims to reduce plastic consumption, increase recycling, and minimize leakages to prevent land and sea-based marine plastic pollution. Working across Southeast Asia, the project will provide holistic support to develop and harmonize regional policies, as well as create regional platforms for innovation, investments, knowledge, and partnerships.

The project activities will contribute to the implementation of the ASEAN Regional Action Plan on Combating Marine Debris and the ASEAN Leaders’ Declaration on Blue Economy, to realise ASEAN’s commitment towards sustainable, resilient and inclusive use, management, conservation and governance of oceans, marine and coastal resources and ecosystems.

With support from the World Bank and UNOPS, ASEAN will advance cooperation at both regional and country levels to strengthen policies and regulatory frameworks governing the production and use of plastics in Southeast Asia.

Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) Ekkaphab Phanthavong welcomed the timely initiative, saying that “the programme will add to ASEAN’s continuing efforts in addressing marine plastic debris and in promoting a transition to a circular economy.”

Samina Kadwani, UNOPS Director for Thailand, Indonesia and the Pacific, said the partnership offers a path towards significant regional solutions, guided by mutual interests in promoting sustainable practices and protecting marine and coastal ecosystems across Southeast Asia.”

SEA-MaP will be implemented by ASEAN Secretariat with support from UNOPS, in close collaboration with ASEAN member states and partners, aligned with the Bangkok Declaration on Combating Marine Debris in ASEAN Region (2019) and the ASEAN Regional Action Plan for Combating Marine Debris (2021).

Source: VNA