IMO, FAO partner to tackle marine litter and deliver SDG 14

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) have formally signed an agreement to move forward and jointly implement the GloLitter Partnerships Project, initially launched in December 2019, with funding from Norway, to prevent and reduce marine plastic litter from shipping and fisheries.

A statement on the IMO official site said the agreement was signed on 14 April 2020 by Dr. Jose Matheickal, Chief of the Department of Partnerships and Projects, IMO, and Roberto Ridolfi, Assistant Director General of FAO.

It also notes that “partnerships are essential in tackling the global issue of marine plastic litter.”

The agreement specifies how the agencies would jointly execute the project and marks the next step towards many strategic partnerships anticipated under the project.

Both agencies will now reach out to their respective fields to strengthen cooperation, not least private sector participation through a Global Industry Alliance, the IMO said.

It added that “The GloLitter project would help developing countries to identify opportunities to prevent and reduce marine litter, including plastic litter, from within the maritime transport and fisheries sectors, and to decrease the use of plastics in these industries. It will identify opportunities to re-use and recycle plastics.

“It will directly help to achieve one of the specific targets in the global Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 – to “prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution, by 2025.”

Countries are invited to submit their expressions of interest to be part of the project by 30 April.

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