Drowning in plastic

Thursday, 02 October 2014 08:28

2 October 2014 - The threat of the increasing amount of garbage in the
world?s oceans is a ?tremendous challenge?, threatening the planet?s
marine ecosystems with the potential for ?significant socio-economic
consequences,? states United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

In the final day of the 16th Global Meeting of the Regional Seas
Conventions and Action Plans, held in Athens, Greece, scientists,
policymakers and delegates gathered amid growing global concern over the
accumulation of plastic waste in oceans and seas ? a problem that could
pose an estimated $13 billion in damage to marine life and habitats, and
which demands a comprehensive remedy.

Addressing the meeting, Jacqueline Alder, Coordinator of UNEP?s
Freshwater and Marine Ecosystem Branch, applauded the creation of a
?visioning roadmap? seeking to chart a way forward for oceans governance
in the coming decade, particularly in the areas of extraction,
governance, impacts of a changing climate, ocean acidification, and

?Making change related to ocean governance or management, especially
where the issues are transboundary, takes many years,? stated Ms. Alder.
?Having the roadmap will keep all of us here, and those that follow us,
focused on the outcomes we need to achieve in the coming decades.?

The meeting generated broad agreement among experts and policymakers
regarding the issue of microplastics ? tiny pieces of plastic less than
one millimetre in size ? which, they said, deserved more attention in
order to better grasp their physical and biological impact on the marine
ecosystems they pollute.

Drowning in plastic

12. Oktober 2014