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Norway, ASEAN cooperate in reducing marine plastic pollution


JAKARTA : The Government of Norway launched on March 4 the ASEAN-Norway Cooperation Project on Local Capacity Building for Reducing Plastic Pollution in the ASEAN Region (ASEANO) Phase 2 in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

‘We need to work at different levels, international and regional, as well as country and local levels. ASEANO is an important project in that respect, and it is my hope that Phase II will be as successful as Phase I in enhancing local capacity in monitoring and identifying plastic pollution sources as well as in increasing the effectiveness of plastic waste management policies,’ Ambassador of Norway to ASEAN Kjell Tormod Pettersen noted in a statement received in Jakarta on Tuesday.

During the 2019-2022 period, the ASEANO project was successful in focusing on developing local river plastic monitoring capacity, building knowledge on household and industry sources of plastic pollution, and increasing the effectiveness of plastic waste management policies.

The first phase of the ASEANO project focused
on selected pilot catchments in Indonesia and the Philippines.

To continue the support of plastic pollution reduction measures among ASEAN member states, the ASEANO project phase 2 (ASEANO2) has been developed and approved.

ASEANO2 aims to further develop targeted and cost-efficient prevention and mitigation measures for plastic pollution in ASEAN through a multidisciplinary, cross-sectorial, and holistic approach. This project will set up case study sites in Cambodia and Vietnam.

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Meanwhile, Director-General of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Thailand, Dr. Pinsak Suraswadi highlighted that this initiative builds upon the successful groundwork laid during ASEANO Phase 1 and represents a significant step forward in our collective commitment to combat marine plastic pollution.

‘ASEANO Phase 2 aims to further develop targets and implement cost-efficient prevention and mitigation measures for
plastic pollution in ASEAN. This multidisciplinary, cross-sectorial, and holistic approach will draw from experiences gained in Indonesia and the Philippines during the First Phase, with study areas now extended to Cambodia and Vietnam,’ Research Director of the Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA) Dr. Marianne Olsen stated.

‘This initiative aims to enhance cooperation with a range of stakeholders to improve plastic management practices along the whole plastic value chain and to contribute to meeting sound reduction targets through capacity-building and knowledge-sharing,’ Executive Director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS) Indonesia Dr. Arisman remarked.

ASEANO2 will be implemented over four years from 2023 to 2027 by the Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA) and the Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS) Indonesia.

The launch of ASEANO2 will also mark the official start of various activities that will be carried out for this project, with one of the activities to be
undertaken by NIVA, CSEAS, and local partners in both Vietnam and Cambodia being to visit rivers that have potential as pilot sites for ASEANO2.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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