The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) on Friday launched a global campaign to combat marine litter and clean the oceans.
Several Latin American nations will participate in the project. Costa Rica is among the 10 lead countries alongside Brazil, Cote d’Ivoire, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria and Vanuatu.
The initiative, to which 30 countries have already joined, is based on the UN project called “GloLitter” to prevent and reduce marine litter, derived from the maritime transport and fishing sectors, especially plastics, FAO said in a statement released in Rome.
“Plastic waste has a devastating effect on marine life and human health,” explained Manuel Barange, director of FAO’s Fisheries Division.
“This initiative is an important step in addressing the problem and will help protect ocean ecosystems, as well as the livelihoods of those who depend on them,” he added.
The GloLitter project should help the sector to apply best practices in the prevention and reduction of marine plastic waste.
“Marine litter is a scourge on the oceans and on the planet. I am delighted that we have more than 30 countries committed to this initiative and working with IMO and FAO to address this issue,” acknowledged José Matheickal, Head of Department of IMO Alliances and Projects.
Latin American countries participating in various phases of the project include Costa Rica, Colombia, Panama, Peru, Brazil, Jamaica, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Argentina.
In the coming months, experts from FAO and IMO will provide technical assistance and training, as well as guidance, training materials and strategies for compliance with existing regulations.
Pilot initiatives include projects with organizations led by women working in the fisheries sector to reduce the use of plastic in fishing and the processing and marketing of fish. Likewise, programs will be developed for the collection of plastic for recycling.
The creation of public-private partnerships will also be promoted to formulate solutions for this sector.