Vietnam hosts int’l conference on tackling plastic waste pollution in oceans hinh anh 1An overview of the conference (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Vietnam Administration of Sea and Islands, in coordination with the UN Environment Programme and the World Wide Fund for Nature, hosted an international conference in both online and in-person formats on solutions to handling plastic waste in East Asian seas from November 24-26.

Addressing the event on November 26, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Le Minh Ngan called for joint efforts by all parties, including policymakers, management officials, businesses and consumers to tackle the issue, which has posed serious impacts on the ecosystem and environment, especially the oceans.

Ngan said that due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, the world is facing another source of pollution from medical masks, especially in the context that many waste treatment plants have suspended operations due to the pandemic.

The pandemic has led to the increase use of single-use products as part of measures to minimize COVID-19 spreading, he noted, adding that the collection and recycling of these products have also been affected.

He stressed that current cooperation initiatives and models should play a bigger role in facilitating the exchange of knowledge and experience regarding best practice and methods in policy making, development and transfer of technology and capacity building in each country as well as between countries.

The official expressed his hope that countries and international organisations will continue strengthening cooperation with and support for Vietnam in preventing and reducing plastic waste, thus contributing to the global efforts in responding to one of the biggest challenges in the current era.

At the event, Ngan and representatives from the governments of ASEAN member countries and three partners of ASEAN as well as domestic and international organisations underlined the need for effective coordination among sectors at different levels in taking specific actions to deal with the challenges of plastic waste pollution and marine debris.

Within the conference’s framework, Vietnam introduced a project to reduce marine plastic waste, which is being implemented in nine coastal localities with the aim to minimize marine pollution through the support in building guidance to implement prioritized policies related to plastic waste, among others.

During three days from November 24-26, the event included four plenary and 10 thematic discussions on measures to prevent the wasteful use of plastics and prevent the discharge of waste to the ocean./.