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Plastic pollution and marine litter |09 December 2022

Plastic pollution and marine litter

Tuesday’s workshop in progress (Photo: Joena Meme)

Towards the development of a national action plan


Every year, during the south east trade winds, the sea brings back all manner of litter to the shore. They might not be from us, but we are also a victim of plastic pollution and marine litter.

In order to tackle this issue, the United Nations Environment Programme (Unep) in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment (MACCE), is currently implementing a project ‘Protecting the Marine Environment from Land-Based Pollution through Strengthened Coordination of Global Action in Seychelles’.

A first workshop was organised earlier this year where there were substantial evidences that the health of the planet earth is deteriorating and one of the contributing factors is plastic pollution.

On Tuesday various stakeholders met for a half-day workshop at the Hilton Double Tree Allamanda Resort and Spa to further the discussions and strengthen the knowledge base of plastic sources, pathways and accumulation areas in Seychelles; enhance the national capacity to collect data, monitor trends and track information related to plastic pollution, in relation to sustainable development goal indicator 14.1.1 on marine plastic in order to empower decision-makers by strengthening the evidence base for policy-making associated with plastic pollution and micro plastics.

On that occasion, the stakeholders were able to discuss the results of the source inventory of marine litter that was conducted during the month of October on Mahé by the local consultant AAI Enterprise Pty. The report builds on previous data collected in August 2019 by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

Principal secretary Denis Matatiken shared that “given the change in our consumption and production patterns our natural environment has become a dumping ground for all manner of pollution, from plastics to toxic chemicals. Today, plastic is considered as one of the largest, most harmful and most persistent proportions of marine litter”.

PS Matatiken noted that at present, the magnitude of plastic waste in Seychelles is not comprehensively known as there is a noticeable lack of statistics on the exact amount of plastics in the country. What is known, is the amount of mismanaged plastic waste which is continuously increasing and requires urgent attention.

“With the presentation of this report we will be equipped with better knowledge towards a strengthened coordination of global action in Seychelles.”

Nanette Laure, Director General - Waste, Enforcement and Permits Division, explained that “this project started in 2019 but due to the pandemic, we had some delays. Today is a follow-up session from our first one in March where we listened to different stakeholders and non-governmental organisations where they presented the work they are already doing on the ground regarding plastic pollution. This project will help us to come up with a long-term plan so that we can try to tackle marine litter and plastic pollution. There is a global movement regarding plastic pollution and Seychelles is part of this movement. We hope to get the support of all partners and mainly the decision-makers. We plan to consult with the members of the National Assembly so as to present the project and in order to gain additional support to implement it”.

Vidya Gappy

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