Regional seminar on marine plastic litter management being hosted here

─ Gov’t committed to tackling problem at the source

A seminar focusing on one of the most pressing environmental challenges – plastic pollution in the oceans, commenced on Monday at the Pegasus Suites, Kingston, Georgetown.

The objective is two-fold: firstly, to share the achievements of the Technical Cooperation Project on Advisor for Marine Plastic Litter Management in the Caribbean Region and secondly, to foster discussions on enhancing knowledge sharing about solid waste management across the Caribbean.

Minister within the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development, Anand Persaud

The seminar strives to create a collaborative platform to address marine plastic litter management challenges and promote a cleaner, more sustainable Caribbean region, as well as move from understanding the issue to establishing concrete actions that will benefit the environment and future generations.

Minister within the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development, Anand Persaud, in his remarks highlighted that his ministry, in keeping with the national agenda to “strengthen the solid waste management programme at the local level to deliver timely collection, treatment and appropriate disposal of solid waste”, is pursuing an integrated sustainable waste management approach focusing on improving inclusivity, financial sustainability, sound institutions and proactive policies, 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle), collection and disposal.

He noted that, “The menace of marine plastic litter poses a grave and growing threat to our cherished environment. Plastic pollution knows no borders and has no regard for the boundaries of our nations. It is an urgent and global issue, and as stewards of the Caribbean, it is our responsibility to address it comprehensively.”

The seminar brings together participants from five counterpart countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Guyana, Saint Lucia, and Jamaica. It was also attended by members of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Advisory Team and representatives from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).

Seminar on marine plastic litter management began on Monday

Minister Persaud, as representative of the Government of Guyana expressed commitment to continued collaboration and knowledge sharing on the topic.

“Our mission is to collaborate, innovate, and create solutions that will tackle this pressing problem at its source. I want to emphasise that the success of our efforts depends not only on the work we do within the walls of this seminar but on the actions, we take when we return to our respective roles and responsibilities. It requires the collaboration of governments, businesses, civil society, and concerned citizens,” he posited.

Participants will have the opportunity to visit the Haags Bosch Sanitary Landfill and recycling facility at Cevons Waste Management Inc., offering insight into waste management practices in the region.

The seminar will conclude on Wednesday, October 25 2023.