ASEAN Ministers agree on principles to tackle marine debris problem

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 Thailand, as chair of ASEAN, has hosted the Special ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Marine Debris. All member countries agreed to the Bangkok Declaration and the Framework of Action on marine debris management in the ASEAN region.

Plastic waste seen submerged in water during an event to clear garbage from Lampung bay in the Sukaraja village in the Bumi Waras subdistrict of Bandar Lampung on February 21, 2019 (Source: AFP)

Plastic waste seen submerged in water during an event to clear garbage from Lampung bay in the Sukaraja village in the Bumi Waras subdistrict of Bandar Lampung on February 21, 2019 (Source: AFP)

Gen. Surasak Karnjanarak, Thailand’s Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, says that the meeting discussed how to tackle the marine debris problem. The ASEAN member countries have agreed to work together in order to reduce the sources of waste.

He added that Thailand has proposed the implementation in order to reduce plastic, including the prohibition of plastic waste imports within 2 years. Furthermore, by 2030, it will promote appropriate nationwide production and consumption by recycling all waste. He added that the ASEAN region is one of the biggest sources of marine waste, therefore it plans to establish an ocean waste knowledge centre in Indonesia along with branches in the Mekong Basin area.

Meanwhile, Thailand’s permanent secretary at the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, Wicharn Simachaya, disclosed that the meeting agreed on the Bangkok Declaration and the Framework of Action on marine debris management in the ASEAN region.

He said that the Framework of Action included policy development in the region. In addition, ASEAN needs more research and development, especially in order to replace plastic and to reduce plastic waste in the ocean. Moreover, he added that public participation and private partnerships are also important.

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