2021 set for systematic ban of single-use plastics

─ announcement made as Guyana celebrates World Wildlife Day 2019

─ work has started on sensitising the population

─ aligns with United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) #14

DPI, Guyana, Monday, March 4, 2019

The year 2021 has been designated for the systematic ban of single-use plastics. This was announced by Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, under whose purview the Department of Environment falls.

Addressing the World Wildlife Day Youth Forum hosted at the Sophia Exhibition Centre, the minister said:

“The work has already begun on sensitising our population to the fact that 2021 is the date we have identified for a ban on single-use plastic.”

As much as 40 per cent of the oceans is tremendously affected by pollution with an estimated eight million metric tons of plastic waste entering the world’s ocean annually.

Minister Harmon noted that this “provides a good opportunity to raise awareness about the vast diversity of marine life globally, its crucial importance to human development and the importance of prudent management of marine resources for future generations.” 

This year’s World Wildlife Day theme ‘Life below Water: for People and Planet’ aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 which speaks to the conservation of the oceans. This includes the expansion of protected areas for marine biodiversity, intensification of research capacity and increases in ocean science funding which remain critically important to preserve marine resources.

Minister Harmon highlighted that in addition to aligning with SDG 14, the theme also aligns with Objective 3 of the Green State Development Strategy (GSDS).

“Objective Three includes the protection, restoration, and sustainable use of coastal and marine resources is, therefore, aimed at ensuring that Guyana adopts an enhanced program and institute measures to engage in the sustainable use and preservation of our marine and coastal ecosystems.”

In December 2013, at its 68th session, the UN General Assembly declared March 3 as UN World Wildlife Day. This day was proclaimed to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’ s wild animals and plants.

As part of observance activities, the Guyana Wildlife Conservation, on Sunday morning, facilitated a massive clean-up along the Kingston seawall. The exercise received the support of several organisations which included the Mayor and City Council (M&CC), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Conservation International (CI), Youth Action Network (YAN), Protected Areas Commission (PAC), several religious organisations and Puran Brothers Disposal Incorporated.

Anara Khan.

Image: Ameer Sattaur.

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