Image: Wikimedia Commons
Spain considers it necessary, in line with the common position of the European Union and most of the participating countries, to move towards a global international agreement in order to meet this challenge.
At a ministerial conference, the Ministry of Ecological Change and Demographic Challenge called for the establishment of an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Marine Litter and Plastic Pollution to work on a global agreement to combat plastic pollution in the oceans.
The ministerial conference is organized by the governments of Ecuador, Germany, Ghana and Vietnam with the support of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) to meet the challenge of marine pollution by plastic. The aim of this meeting was in particular to prepare the ground for the fifth session (UNEA 5.2) of the United Nations Environment Assembly on this topic in 2022.
Spain considers it necessary, in line with the common position of the European Union and most of the participating countries, to move towards a global international agreement in order to meet this challenge. The Ministry’s Director General for Environmental Quality and Assessment, Ismael Aznar, representative of Spain at the conference, stressed that it was imperative to work on an agreement that would make it possible to address aspects that are not covered by the existing instruments To coordinate efforts of the parties, to establish new preventive measures and to create a framework for the development of national action plans. To this end, Spain has asked for an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Marine Litter and Plastic Pollution to be set up at UNEA 5.2 to outline this agreement.
Aznar highlighted the measures taken by Spain to combat plastic pollution, in particular the measures to restrict single-use plastic items in the draft law on waste and contaminated land – currently under parliamentary procedure – and the measures to combat marine pollution included in the national marine strategies.
The conference concluded with the adoption of a ministerial declaration setting out the reasons for a new comprehensive multilateral agreement at UNEA and majority support for the proposal to set up an intergovernmental negotiating committee.
The ministerial declaration refers to the unsustainable production and consumption of plastic and its impact on the environment, which deserves urgent attention. He stressed the need for a commitment to establish a framework for international cooperation that encompasses coordinated action across the plastic lifecycle and involving all stakeholders, including governments, the plastics industry, academia and civil society. It also stresses that it should address the specific needs of developing countries, in line with the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.
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