IMO in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) launched a new global project called “GloLitter Partnerships Project”, with the goal of preventing and reducing marine litter plastic from shipping and fisheries.
Specifically, GloLitter will help developing countries find new opportunities to prevent and reduce marine litter, such as plastic debris, while also enable companies to decline the use of plastics in these industries, also proposing the idea of re-use and recycle plastics.
The project, initially funded from the Government of Norway, will:
- consider the availability and adequacy of port reception facilities;
- look at enhancing awareness of the marine plastics issue within the shipping and fisheries sectors, including seafarers and fishers;
- encourage fishing gear to be marked so it can be traced back to its owner if discarded.
Moreover, the project will implement guidance documents, training material and toolkits to enforce the existent regulations concerning plastic debris, along with IMO’s International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) Annex V.
Another goal of the project will be to promote compliance with FAO instruments, as the Voluntary Guidelines on the Marking of Fishing Gear, while also pay closer attention to the issue of waste management in ports. Also, the GloLitter project will focus on the implementation and enforcement of IMO’s London Convention/London Protocol regime on dumping of wastes at sea, which requires waste (such as from dredging) to be assessed before permits to dump are granted.
In light of the new project, Mr. Kitack Lim, Secretary-General, IMO, commented that
IMO has been at the forefront of addressing this issue from the perspective of shipping and dumping at sea and this global project will further strengthen efforts within the fishing and maritime transport sectors to pilot, demonstrate and test best practices to deal with marine plastic litter.
Dr. Matthew Camilleri, Head of FAO’s Fishing Operations and Technology Branch added that the project will enable developing countries set a strategy on reducing marine debris, which result from fishing operations, and will implement the Voluntary Guidelines on the Marking of Fishing Gear.
Dr. Camilleri stated that
The fisheries sector has an important role in reducing pollution of the marine environment by plastic litter, particularly from abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear, and should seek to develop fishing port facilities and schemes for sustainable waste processing, recycling and re-use of materials which contribute to marine litter.
IMO informs that ten countries from five high priority regions; Asia, Africa, Caribbean, Latin America and Pacific, will be opted to lead the project and spread the news.
The initial funding of the project comes to NOK 40 million (approximately US$4.5 million) from the Government of Norway, providing a 3.5-year project, executed by IMO in partnership with FAO.
The project contributes to the achievement of specific targets in the global Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14– to “prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution, by 2025”.
The planned Global Industry Alliance (GIA) will link with the UN Global Compact, which has adopted Sustainable Ocean Principles for responsible business practices.
Concluding, the GloLitter Partnerships Project agreement was signed by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and His Excellency Wegger Chr. Strømmen, Norway’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, on Thursday 5 December, 2019.