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Friday, May 17, 2019

Caleta Portales, Valparaíso

APEC Senior Officials make a commitment to sustainable development and clean oceans

The event, which was organized by APEC Chile 2019 in collaboration with the Ocean Conservancy, the General Directorate of Maritime Territory and Merchant Marine (Directemar) and the Environmental Regional Secretariat, was attended by Senior Officials from visiting economies and delegates along with 50 students from Capellán Pascal School of Valparaíso.

Valparaíso, May 16, 2019.- In the context of the Second APEC Chile 2019 Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM2) being held in Viña del Mar, the Clean Beach activity took place this morning in the Caleta Portales fishermen’s wharf and beach area in Valparaíso. The goal of the event is to make a real contribution to efforts to care for the ocean as part of APEC’s Sustainable Growth priority.

The activity was organized by APEC Chile 2019, the NGO Ocean Conservancy (OC), Chile’s General Directorate of Maritime Territory and Merchant Marine (Directemar) and Environment Ministry. Participants included the Senior Officials from the Asia-Pacific economies, APEC Chile 2019 SOM Chair Mathias Francke, APEC Executive Director Rebecca Santa María, and 50 students from Capellán Pascal School. Together they collected in cotton bags plastic waste, cigarette butts and other refuse they found on the coastline.

“This is a way to show the community and the economies the importance of keeping beaches clean,” explained APEC Chile 2019 Sustainable Growth priority coordinator Alejandra Estrada.

Directemar representative Captain Oscar Ortiz said, “the Navy is proud to have been able to work jointly on a task that involves prevention and care for our oceans and their resources with the sole purpose of preserving the ocean environment.”

Victoria Gazmuri of the Valparaíso Environmental Secretariat stated, “this shows that by working together we can keep from having more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050.”

Sustainable Growth is one of the four priorities that Chile proposed for its APEC year. The Chilean proposals include compiling details of the preventative measures that APEC economies are taking in these areas. Significant progress has been made towards this goal given that “until now we haven’t known exactly what each of our economies is doing, and we think that this is one way to assess the situation,” Alejandra Estrada explained.

The Caleta Portales activity ended with the arrival of a recycling bus that took away all of the materials that the participants had gathered with the exception of the cigarette butts, which were given to Imeko, a company that has developed a process for recycling them.