Selasa 17 Oct 2023 15:32 WIB

Erick Thohir Calls ASEAN to Overcome Marine Debris

Indonesia has reduced 36 percent of plastic waste into the sea.

Rep: Muhammad Nursyamsi/ Red: Fitriyan Zamzami
Volunteers pick up rubbish in the Bengkong Beach area, Batam, Riau Islands, Saturday (12/8/2023).
Foto: ANTARA FOTO/Teguh Prihatna
Volunteers pick up rubbish in the Bengkong Beach area, Batam, Riau Islands, Saturday (12/8/2023).

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Ad Interim Erick Thohir said the ASEAN Conference for Combatting Plastic Pollution (ACCPP) is a platform for knowledge exchange, collaborative discussions, and strategic planning to improve Southeast Asia's response to plastic pollution. Erick called the forum an incredible opportunity to share experiences and learnings in dealing with plastic problems in the ocean.

“The volume of solid waste and marine debris generated across Southeast Asia has increased rapidly in recent years,” Erick said in a virtual speech on Tuesday (17/10/2023).

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Erick said six Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore produced a total of 243 million tonnes of waste in 2016. Meanwhile, member states' capacity to deal with waste still faces constraints, such as financing capacity and infrastructure. “However, I believe we are all working hard to find a solution to this waste problem,” Erick said.

Erick said Southeast Asia has a marine litter regional action plan and a circular economic framework for the Asian economic community. The initiative should also be a force for Southeast Asia to work collaboratively on tackling plastic pollution.

“Using this momentum, I would like to stress the importance of UN Environment Assembly resolutions to begin negotiating legally binding international instruments to end plastic pollution, including in the marine environment or plastics treaty,” Erick continued.

Erick considered the conference a good momentum to share the spirit of developing communality among Southeast Asian member states towards the negotiation of a global plastic treaty. Erick reiterated the Indonesian government's commitment to dealing with the complexities of addressing marine plastic pollution since 2018, targeting a 70 percent reduction in marine plastic waste by 2025.

“We are proud that in the last four years, from 2018 to 2022, we have managed to reduce approximately 36 percent of the flow of plastic waste into the ocean. Our efforts are on track to achieve a 40 percent reduction by the end of 2023,” added Erick.

Erick realises there is still a lot of hard work to be done to reach the ambitious targets in the next two years. For this reason, strengthening the collaboration of various parties and the support of partner countries is very important.

Through cooperation between Southeast Asian nations, Erick is very optimistic that it can provide a healthy environment for future generations to live in. “Together we can make a meaningful difference,” Erick said.

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