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Monday, July 1, 2019

State Department, Ocean Conservancy and APEC Chile Launching “Clean City and Ocean Initiative” to Tackle Ocean Plastic Pollution

Santiago, Chile—On Tuesday, July 2, representatives from the U.S. Department of State, Ocean Conservancy, and APEC Chile will gather for a day of presentations and workshops to formally launch the “Clean City and Ocean Initiative” under the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) framework.

The project aims to connect city and municipal leaders to technical and financial resources to prevent and reduce marine debris. The project will partner with officials from Santiago and San Antonio to develop guidelines and recommendations for practical and effective measures that can be applied by APEC cities to prevent waste from entering the ocean and reduce ocean plastic pollution. 

During the event, Dr. Jenna Jambeck, a world-renowned expert in marine debris and sustainable waste management, will present the Circularity Assessment Protocol, a new methodology that will be deployed in Santiago and San Antonio to assess plastic waste leakage. The methodology evaluates solid waste and plastic management needs through a social lens, assessing peoples’ behaviors to better inform policy development and interventions.  

Marine debris – including plastics – is an issue of global concern, and a high priority for the United States.  Marine plastic pollution, mostly mismanaged waste from land, costs APEC economies, including The United States and Chile, billions of dollars every year in key industries like tourism and fisheries.   The United States, Chile, and other APEC economies, by working together, can develop innovative solutions to increase capacity for sustainable waste management and reduce marine debris,” said Colin Seals, Environment Officer at the U.S. Embassy Santiago.

We are very excited to begin work in Santiago and San Antonio as we move forward with our newly launched partnership with APEC Chile,” said Luis Estévez-Salmerón, Senior Manager of International Government Relations at Ocean Conservancy.

In May, Ocean Conservancy and APEC Chile announced a formal partnership to put ocean plastic pollution on the APEC agenda through 2019. “This project will help local officials develop the tools they need to make informed decisions on how to prevent plastics from entering the ocean while also addressing challenges like economic development and climate change. We hope that the lessons learned from Chile will help other APEC economies tackle the problem", said Luis Estévez-Salmerón

"This initiative is part of our larger effort to prioritize sustainable growth, through which our economy seeks to promote the protection of the ocean from pollutants such as plastic," said Krasna Bobenrieth, Policy Director of APEC Chile. "Chile supports, among other measures, exchanges of best practices among member economies to prevent contaminants from reaching the ocean. The development of this project in Chile also represents a great opportunity to evaluate how we are advancing in recycling and learning from the world expert on these issues, Dr. Jenna Jambeck, on how to improve."

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