Government joins hands with international oganisations to tackle ocean plastic pollution

September, 25/2020 - 16:04
The focus of the workshop was to discuss partnerships and an action plan to reduce plastic pollution from the fisheries sector, to share local experience of plastic waste management, and to seek voluntary commitments to reduce plastic waste.


Representatives from the IUCN (left) and  D-FISH (right) shake hands after signing the MoU for aquatic resources conservation and development 2020-2025. — Photo courtesy of the Greenhub 

QUẢNG NINH — The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development's Directorate of Fisheries (D-FISH), in collaboration with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Center for Supporting Green Development (Greenhub), held a workshop on Friday to tackle the issue of ocean plastic waste in Hạ Long City, the northern province of Quảng Ninh.

The workshop, titled “Ocean Plastic Waste Management Towards Biological Diversity Conservation”, gathered Government and local officials and representatives from international organisations to discuss partnerships between them to support the implementation of an action plan to reduce plastic pollution from the fisheries sector.

It also focused on sharing experiences in plastic waste management with local people and seeking voluntary commitments to reduce plastic waste in the industry.

Trần Đình Luận, head of D-FISH, presented Quảng Ninh Province’s conservation initiative (31/2020/QĐ-UBND) to fight ocean plastic pollution.

“Quảng Ninh’s People Committee recently promulgated new local technical standards on fishing buoys in fisheries and aquaculture to be implemented between 2021 and 2023, with all aquacultural facilities and materials standardised as a solution to overcome marine plastic waste,” he said.

This initiative goes hand in hand with the Vietnamese Government’s Decision No. 1746/QD-TTg issued in 2019, which includes a 75 per cent reduction in marine plastic waste, according to the official.

At the workshop, local and international experiences on reducing plastic waste from fishing and aquaculture were shared with calls for voluntary commitments from relevant stakeholders. In response to the call for commitments, the IUCN and D-FISH signed an MoU on aquatic resources conservation and development for 2020-2025.

Following on from the IUCN’s MoU with D-FISH that ran from 2015 to 2020, the new MoU covers five areas of collaboration: implementation of the Marine Turtle Conservation Action Plan by 2025; improvement of MPA management effectiveness; research on the legal and scientific framework for the Fisheries Resources Protection and Development Fund; management and conservation of threatened aquatic species; and management of aquatic habitats.

The workshop offered a good opportunity for stakeholders including government agencies, international and local environmental organisations and businesses to discuss the action plan and commitments they can make in the fight against plastic pollution in Việt Nam.

Facing marine plastic waste pollution, one of the world’s most acute environmental problems, Viêt Nam is ranked 4th globally in terms of mismanaged plastic waste. Ever-increasing amounts of plastic waste pose significant hazards to marine wildlife. The UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates about 640,000 tonnes of fishing gear is left in oceans each year globally, making up the majority of hazardous macro-plastics in the ocean. — VNS