Jamaica moves towards elimination of marine plastic litterWednesday, September 15, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Maritime Authority of Jamaica (MAJ) says the Government has demonstrated its commitment to reduce and eliminate marine plastics from our oceans through its selection as one of ten lead partnering countries globally in the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) supported global project “Building Partnerships to Assist Developing Countries to Address the Issue of Marine Plastic Litter from Sea-based Sources”.
The project, commonly referred to as the GloLitter Partnerships Project, was officially launched in July of this year with the establishment of a multi-agency National Task Force and a meeting with members of the Project Coordinating Unit from the IMO and the FAO.
The National Task Force comprises representatives from the Ministry of Transport and Mining and other government ministries and agencies with responsibility for fisheries, maritime transport, women affairs and the protection of the marine environment and will act as a steering group providing oversight for the implementation of the project.
According to the Authority, the GloLitter Partnership Project will enable capacity building and the creation of tool kits for the development of national policies and strategies and the engagement of a local consultant to support legal, policy and institutional reforms for the prevention and reduction of marine plastic litter and in particular plastic marine litter generated from the maritime transport and fisheries sectors.
It will also address a number of issues, including the retrieval of lost and discarded fishing gear from the oceans, the establishment of fishing port facilities and initiatives for the recycle and reuse of marine plastic litter.
In commenting on the project, Rear Admiral (Ret'd) Peter Brady, director general of the Maritime Authority of Jamaica said: that, “As a Small Island Developing State (SIDs) with an open economy and heavy dependence on the blue economy for trade, tourism and fishing, Jamaica is well placed to benefit from the project and as a lead partner country we will have the responsibility to share our experience and best practice gained from the project, with the rest of the Caribbean and other SIDS.”
The three-year project, which extends to 2024, is initially funded by the Government of Norway and the Maritime Authority of Jamaica with support from the National Fisheries Authority as the lead agency in Jamaica with responsibility for its implementation.
Studies done in 2010, estimated that between 4.8 million to 12.7 million tons of land-based plastic waste from coastal countries end up in oceans every year. This has adverse effects on marine species, human health and marine based industries such as tourism and fisheries.