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Sep 2, 2021

Marine Litter & Plastic Pollution – a Serious International Issue

The Government of Belize, in collaboration with the United Kingdom, has formulated a Marine Action Plan named “Belize – Blue, Clean, Resilient and Strong.”  A recent assessment found that there is a relatively high occurrence of micro-plastics in our marine environment, and shockingly, that ninety-eight percent of litter found on beaches was plastic.  Belize is currently represented at a two-day session in Geneva, Switzerland where marine litter and plastic pollution are at the core of the discussions.  It is a serious international issue and there is a need for multilateral intervention, including holding larger countries accountable for the six-point four million tons of trash that enter global oceans yearly. The Belize delegation is headed by the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Climate Change, and Disaster Risk Management, Doctor Kenrick Williams.

 

Kenrick Williams

Dr. Kenrick Williams, C.E.O., Ministry of Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management

“[It’s] something that discusses common responsibilities that looks at something that is legally binding and ensures that particularly developed countries provide the type of investment that developing countries, like Belize, needs to support the addressing of this global issue. We are looking at national level positions from SIDS, from various group of countries, developed countries – for instance, EU and others – who are some of the producers of these plastics. When you look at the situation for Belize, for example, in recent assessments we found that there are some plastics in our marine species. Why is that important? That is important when we look at our national accounting, our fisheries export, our tourism industry and other things that are dependent on the marine sector. And so it is important that while we are a small voice in this negotiation that we protect, we backstop and we safeguard the interests of Belize at this type of international forum.”


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