Illustrative photo (Source: pri.org)
The forum attracted over 100 participants from Indonesian ministries, ASEAN research institutes, the ASEAN Secretariat, and non-governmental organisations.
Discussion was set to focus on current situation and impacts of ocean plastics, and regional collaboration and initiatives related to the issue. The event looked to put forth recommendations for policy making to reduce marine pollution in Southeast Asia.
Addressing the regional forum, deputy head of the German Mission to ASEAN Hendrik Barkeling said inland plastics dumped into the sea will increase if economies continue expansion without proper urban waste management.
The amount of marine plastics was forecast to double in 2025.
Arif Havas Oegroseno, Indonesian Deputy Coordinating Minister of Maritime Affairs and Resources, said the Indonesian Government is working to curb plastic pollution at sea, adding that tough measures might be employed to punish agencies and firms violating regulations on marine environment protection.
In an interview with the Vietnam News Agency, deputy head of the Norwegian Mission to ASEAN Hilde Solbakken lauded the organisation of the event, as marine pollution is now a pressing issue in the world. She noted ocean plastics threaten the growth of the fishery sector. She said that the Norwegian Government is carrying out measures to limit the dumping of plastics into the sea and recover the marine environment, adding that 80 percent of the work was done.
The ASEAN has a coastline spanning 173,000 km.(Vietnamplus)