India, Australia and Singapore hold international workshop on marine plastic litter
The Government of India, in partnership with the Government of Australia and the Government of Singapore, organized an International Marine Pollution Response Workshop focusing on Marine Plastic Debris on 14-15 February 2022. The workshop was held virtually , purchased with the world’s top experts, scientists, government officials with policy expertise, and representatives from industry, innovation, and the informal sectors. It aimed to discuss research interventions to monitor and assess marine litter and plausible sustainable solutions to address the global problem of marine plastic pollution.
The workshop had four main sessions; the extent of the monitoring program for marine litter issues and research on plastic debris in the Indo-Pacific region; best practices and technologies; solutions to prevent plastic pollution; and Polymers and Plastics: Technology and Innovations and Opportunities for Regional Collaboration to Address or Stop Plastic Pollution. The sessions featured panel discussions and interactive breakout sessions to encourage discussion among participants from East Asia Summit countries.
The East Asia Summit (EAS) is the premier forum for discussing important strategic issues in the Indo-Pacific and a leading confidence-building mechanism. Since its inception in 2005, EAS has been advocating for regional peace, security, closer regional cooperation and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean region. EAS is uniquely placed to share expertise and lessons learned between regions and sub-regions facing interrelated and similar challenges to develop sustainable cross-border solutions. EAS countries recognize the challenge of coastal and marine plastic pollution. Honorable Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi had announced the program to promote maritime cooperation in the wider Indo-Pacific region during the 14th EAS held in Bangkok in November 2019. India, Singapore and Australia have committed to implement the EAS rulings.
This workshop provided an impetus for EAS countries to explore and inform each other about the challenges, issues and solutions to marine litter – especially research, use, design, disposal, recycling and future collaborations for a plastic-free and healthy ocean for sustainable development through knowledge partners – the National Center for Coastal Research (NCCR), Chennai, an attached office of the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), Government of Singapore and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Australia. Dr M Ravichandran, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India, delivered the opening address for the workshop. He suggested considering the application of technological tools such as remote sensing, artificial intelligence and machine learning to map the distribution of marine plastics and developing models to understand the dynamics of plastics in the Indian Ocean. . He also pointed out that a well-designed and tailor-made management strategy taking into account regional specificity will significantly reduce plastics in the environment.
(With GDP entries)