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Bangkok Asia-Europe Meeting to target marine waste

BANGKOK: New political commitments to protect marine resources are expected to be announced in two key international marine meetings to be held in Bangkok next week, officials announced yesterday (Feb 28).

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By Bangkok Post

Friday 1 March 2019, 09:31AM


A meeting of Asean ministers will be followed next week by a discussion that brings in Europeans from the Asean-Europe group.

A meeting of Asean ministers will be followed next week by a discussion that brings in Europeans from the Asean-Europe group.

The first meeting will be the Special Asean Ministerial Meeting on Marine Debris on March 5 where Gen Surasak Kanchanarat,the Natural Resources and Environment Minister, will chair the meeting.

The second meeting, in which Thailand will also take part, is the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM). The ASEM High-Level Meeting on Marine Sustainability is scheduled to take place between March 7-8. Foreign Affairs Minister Don Pramudwinai will chair this meeting.

The Asean Ministerial Meeting meeting aims to provide a platform for Asean senior officials to discuss measures on how to deal with ocean garbage successfully, Chatuporn Buruspat, head of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, said on Thursday.

Mr Chatuporn said he expected Asean participants to use this platform to exchange ideas and experiences on marine resource protection until they are able to make a declaration or a so-called “Bangkok Declaration” together to help tackle marine debris in the Asean region.

Mr Chatuporn said they would also initiate a regional framework on reducing the amount of ocean garbage.

He said representatives from the private sector are expected to attend the meeting. They will also discuss the development of innovative products to help reduce plastic waste.

The meeting’s outcomes will be later adopted at the first Asean Summit in June in Thailand.

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As for the ASEM High-Level Meeting on Marine Sustainability, Busadee Santipitaks, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ spokeswoman, said the gathering is expected to attract approximately 120 participants.

Ms Busadee said the meeting will focus on cooperation on how to save the sea from pollution, promoting the so-called circular economy, and Blue Economy development together with ocean industries and action from law enforcement to maintain the sustainability of global marine resources.

Ms Busadee said Asean and Europe will discuss on how to work together in enhancing cooperation toward Pollution-free Ocean. Thailand produces around 24 million tonnes of waste per year, with efforts under way to limit the problem, including be adopting regional cooperation approaches.

 

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