A diverse community of plastic pollution action leaders across Indonesia’s public, private and civil society sectors released a joint Action Plan for combatting plastic pollution and waste.
The strategy document, “Radically Reducing Plastic Pollution in Indonesia: A Multistakeholder Action Plan,” lays out an evidence-based roadmap towards reducing the amount of plastic leakage (mismanaged plastic waste) into Indonesia’s coastal waters by 70% by 2025, as well as achieving near-zero plastic pollution by 2040 through transitioning to a circular economy for plastics.
The Action Plan compares two possible outcomes for Indonesia: one is the ‘business as usual’ scenario, in which plastic pollution is projected to increase by one-third by 2025 and more than double by 2040, if no action is taken. The other is the System Change Scenario, which would enact a series of ambitious, society-wide transformations, including the following five key interventions:
Reducing or substituting avoidable plastic usage to prevent the consumption of more than one million tonnes of plastics per year;Redesigning plastic products and packaging with reuse or recycling in mind;
Doubling plastic waste collection to more than 80% by 2025;
Doubling current recycling capacity by 2025; and
Building or expanding controlled waste disposal facilities to safely manage non-recyclable plastic waste.
Under the System Change Scenario, Indonesia is expected to prevent 16 million tonnes of plastic entering its coastal waters curb 20 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year, create more than 150,000 jobs, and significantly improve public health outcomes.
Indonesia is among the nations most impacted by plastic pollution and mismanaged waste. It currently generates around 6.8 million tonnes of plastic waste per year, a figure that is growing by 5% annually.
The delivery of the Action Plan represents a significant milestone in the work of the Indonesia National Plastic Action Partnership (NPAP), the nation’s leading multistakeholder platform for shaping a unified and effective approach to tackling plastic pollution and waste. It was launched one year ago by the Government of Indonesia in collaboration with the Global Plastic Action Partnership (GPAP), the flagship plastic action platform at the World Economic Forum, and is hosted at World Resources Institute (WRI) Indonesia in Jakarta.
“I am proud to share Indonesia’s Action Plan as a source of hope and inspiration in these challenging times,” said Luhut B. Pandjaitan, Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment. “Plastic pollution is an issue that affects our nation deeply. It would destroy our pristine marine ecosystems, harms the livelihoods and health of our citizens, and stands in the way of our path towards a resilient future, one built on the basis of harmony between people and planet. We will not allow this looming crisis to continue to grow; instead, we are taking bold, decisive action at every level and across every sector in Indonesia to undertake the transformations that are needed to achieve near-zero plastic pollution in Indonesia.”
“Indonesia has shown us a world-class example of how to take on a complex issue, namely plastic pollution, through a collaborative and efficient multistakeholder approach,” said Kristin Hughes, director of the Global Plastic Action Partnership and member of the World Economic Forum’s executive committee. “In Indonesia and across the world, we are seeing the power of community as more crucial than ever – to come together in new and creative ways, to openly share our expertise and experience, and to act in unison to solve the most pressing issues that face us.”
The Indonesia NPAP comprises over 230 member organizations from national and local government, the business and investment community, civil society and youth advocacy groups, foreign diplomatic missions, and research and academia. To translate the recommendations in the Action Plan into concrete action, its members have formed five new task forces on policy, innovation, financing, behavior change, and metrics, in addition to continuing to address plastic pollution and waste through their respective institutions.
The analysis and scenario methodology for developing the Action Plan were adapted from global research conducted by The Pew Charitable Trusts and SYSTEMIQ, which will be published in full later this year under the title Breaking the Plastic Wave.
The Action Plan was shaped through close consultation and collaboration with leading plastic waste and plastic pollution experts in Indonesia, including members of the Indonesia NPAP Steering Board, NPAP Expert Panel, Government of Indonesia, and other key stakeholders.
Additional quotes and statements and support:
“I am delighted to be joining the NPAP during such a pivotal time,” said Sri Indrastuti Hadiputranto, the new chair of the Indonesia NPAP and CEO of the United in Diversity Foundation. “The launch of this Action Plan represents an urgently needed step forward in our national effort to combat plastic waste and pollution. With the full support of the members of the NPAP Steering Board, and drawing on my professional experience as a corporate lawyer, I am hoping we can align and harmonize a united approach to reducing plastic pollution with the Government of Indonesia and businesses and civil society on a national and global level.”
“The plastic issue is a global problem that needs to be tackled through local solutions,” said Axton Salim, director of food and beverage giant PT Indofood Sukses Makmur Tbk. “The NPAP is a platform where multistakeholders can come together, understand the total plastic waste ecosystem and align with the government ambition. We understand that there needs to be a multi-pronged approach, i.e., reusable, recyclable, and more friendly compostable, degradable packaging. As one of the co-founders of PRAISE – the Packaging and Recycling Association for Indonesia Sustainable Environment – Indofood aims to support a sustainable ecosystem of plastic waste management through the circular economy.”
“We believe that addressing the issue of unmanaged plastic waste is interdependent with the waste ecosystem,” said Erwin Ciputra, president director of Chandra Asri Petrochemical. “The NPAP can help us succeed by playing a strategic role engaging and coordinating with all stakeholders in the Indonesian plastic value chain and waste management. We are committed as a producer to work together with everyone to ensure the circularity of plastic through recycling and innovation, and to keep plastic waste out of the ocean.”
“The UK is proud to support the work of GPAP in Indonesia,” said Owen Jenkins, the British ambassador to Indonesia and Timor-Leste. “I’d like to congratulate Minister Luhut on his ambitions to tackle plastic pollution to protect the marine environment and improve the lives of Indonesians. The work of GPAP in Indonesia has been invaluable in helping in bringing together businesses, government and NGOs to tackle this issue through the National Plastic Action Partnership, providing a clear pathway to achieving the Indonesian government’s target of 70% reduction in marine debris by 2025.”
“Plastic pollution is a global issue that we cannot afford to ignore,” said Cameron Mackay, the Canadian ambassador to Indonesia. “Canada is taking actions to tackle the issue domestically and globally, and I am proud that these efforts include supporting Indonesia in the achievement of its ambitious plastic reduction targets. We must work together toward systemic changes and the plastic action roadmap creates the space to do so while fostering innovative public-private partnerships.”
No pathway to reach the Paris Agreement’s 1.5˚C goal without the G20
“The world urgently needs a clear and unambiguous commitment to the 1.5 degree goal of the Paris Agreement from all G20 nations”, António Guterres said on Sunday after the Group failed to agree on the wording of key climate change commitments during their recent Ministerial Meeting on Environment, Climate and Energy.
“There is no pathway to this goal without the leadership of the G20. This signal is desperately needed by the billions of people already on the frontlines of the climate crisis and by markets, investors and industry who require certainty that a net zero climate resilient future is inevitable”, the Secretary General urged in a statement.
The UN chief reminded that science indicates that to meet that ‘ambitious, yet achievable goal’, the world must achieve carbon neutrality before 2050 and cut dangerous greenhouse gas emissions by 45 % by 2030 from 2010 levels. “But we are way off track”, he warned.
The world needs the G20 to deliver
With less than 100 days left before the 2021 United Nations Climate Conference COP 26, a pivotal meeting that will be held in Glasgow at the end of October, António Guterres urged all G20 and other leaders to commit to net zero by mid-century, present more ambitious 2030 national climate plans and deliver on concrete policies and actions aligned with a net zero future.
These include no new coal after 2021, phasing out fossil fuel subsidies and agreeing to a minimum international carbon pricing floor as proposed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“The G7 and other developed countries must also deliver on a credible solidarity package of support for developing countries including meeting the US$100 billion goal, increasing adaptation and resilience support to at least 50% of total climate finance and getting public and multilateral development banks to significantly align their climate portfolios to meet the needs of developing countries”, he highlighted.
The UN Chief informed that he intends to use the opportunity of the upcoming UN General Assembly high-level session to bring leaders together to reach a political understanding on these critical elements of the ‘package’ needed for Glasgow.
A setback for Glasgow
The G20 ministers, which met in Naples, Italy on July 23-25, couldn’t agree to a common language on two disputed issues related to phasing out coal and the 1.5-degree goal, which now will have to be discussed at the G20 summit in Rome in October, just one day before the COP 26 starts.
Western Indian Ocean region has declared 550,000 square kilometers as protected
The Western Indian Ocean region has declared 143* marine and coastal areas as protected – an area covering 553,163 square kilometers, representing 7 percent of the total Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) for the region – according to a new publication by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP)-Nairobi Convention and the Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association.
The Marine Protected Areas Outlook, released today, indicates that almost half of the total area – an estimated 63 percent of the overall square kilometers – was brought under protection in the seven years since the 2015 adoption of Sustainable Development Goal 14.5, which committed countries to conserving at least 10 percent of their marine and coastal areas by 2020.
This Outlook examines the current and future status of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Comoros, Kenya, France (in its Western Indian Ocean territories), Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, South Africa, and Tanzania, emphasizing the increased commitment of countries to strengthen marine protection. In 2019 alone, Seychelles brought 30 percent of its Exclusive Economic Zone under protection, safeguarding the habitats of 2,600 species, while South Africa declared 20 new MPAs – enabling both countries to exceed the 10 percent target. Comoros has developed new MPA-specific legislation, while over three hundred Locally Managed Marine Areas – i.e., areas in which coastal communities shoulder the mantle of conservation – have been declared across the region.
The publication further documents the dozens of proposed MPAs currently under consideration by countries, which would cover an additional 50,000 square kilometers or more. Nevertheless, with only 7 percent of the region’s total EEZ under protection, greater momentum and investments will be required by countries to reach the more ambitious target of 30 percent protection by 2030, as proposed under the Global Biodiversity Framework.
Although the ocean provides us with resources essential for survival, including food, employment, and even oxygen, the world is damaging and depleting it faster than ever. Soon, the region may no longer be able to count on the many jobs, health, and economic benefits – valued at 20.8 billion USD – that the Western Indian Ocean provides. Marine protected areas offer one of the best options to reverse these trends.
“A well-managed MPA can bring significant economic, social, and environmental benefits to a country,” said Yamkela Mngxe, Acting Director of Integrated Projects and International Coordination in South Africa’s Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment. “They can increase food security by preventing the overexploitation of fish stocks; create and protect jobs in the tourism and fisheries sectors; build resilience to climate change; and protect species and habitats.”
Though countries in the region have made significant strides in protecting its marine and coastal areas, the Outlook outlines best practices, challenges, and several opportunities to build on thisprogressto ensure the entire region meets future Global Biodiversity Framework targets on marine protected areas. The Outlook’s assessment of the management effectiveness of MPAs indicates that MPA frameworks and institutions do not always function effectively. Nor is relevant legislation consistently implemented, due to financial or personnel capacity gaps; weak enforcement on MPA boundaries; and management decisions that are not guided by science.
Key recommendations from the Outlook therefore include:
- The need for dedicated budgets for MPA management;
- Adopting proactive law enforcement and compliance strategies to ensure MPA regulations and guidelines are being respected which could be informed by the best practices in fishery reserves like Mauritius, which have helped to restore fish stocks and protect biodiversity;
- Incorporating research and monitoring programmes on biodiversity and ecosystems into decision-making in MPAs;
- Strengthening community engagement in marine protection by implementing lessons learned by the MIHARI Network, which brings together more than 200 Locally Managed Marine Areas in Madagascar.
“The MPA Outlook comes at a time when the region has embarked on large-scale socio-economic developments that are equally exerting pressure on MPAs,” said Hon. Flavien Joubert,Minister of Agriculture, Climate Change, and Environment of the Seychelles. “The Outlook thus provides some answers and innovative approaches to minimize the scale of negative impacts on MPAs.”
The MPA Outlook concludes that by seizing the opportunities it presents, countries in the region can capitalize on this progress to safeguard the Western Indian Ocean’s immense natural beauty and resources for generations to come – and sustain momentum towards achievement of the post 2020 biodiversity framework targets.
Deadly flooding, heatwaves in Europe, highlight urgency of climate action
Heavy rainfall that has triggered deadly and catastrophic flooding in several western European countries, is just the latest indicator that all nations need to do more to hold back climate change-induced disasters, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Friday.
The agency said that countries including Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands had received up to two months’ rain in two days from 14 to 15 July, on ground that was “already near saturation”.
Photos taken at the scene of some of the worst water surges and landslides show huge, gaping holes where earth and buildings had stood until mid-week, after media reports pointed to well over 100 confirmed fatalities in Germany and Belgium on Friday morning, with an unknown number still missing across vast areas.
“We’ve seen images of houses being…swept away, it’s really, really devastating”, said WMO spokesperson Clare Nullis adding that that the disaster had overwhelmed some of the prevention measures put in place by the affected developed countries.
In a statement issued by his Spokesperson, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, said he was saddened by the loss of life and destruction of property. “He extends his condolences and solidarity to the families of the victims and to the Governments and people of the affected countries.”
The UN chief said the UN stood ready to contribute to ongoing rescue and assistance efforts, if necessary.
“Europe on the whole is prepared, but you know, when you get extreme events, such as what we’ve seen – two months’ worth of rainfall in two days – it’s very, very difficult to cope,” added Ms. Nullis, before describing scenes of “utter devastation” in Germany’s southwestern Rhineland-Palatinate state, which is bordered by France, Belgium and Luxembourg.
Highlighting typical preparedness measures, the WMO official noted In Switzerland’s national meteorological service, MeteoSwiss, had a smartphone application which regularly issued alerts about critical high-water levels.
The highest flood warning is in place at popular tourist and camping locations including lakes Biel, Thun and the Vierwaldstattersee, with alerts also in place for Lake Brienz, the Rhine near Basel, and Lake Zurich.
Dry and hot up north
In contrast to the wet conditions, parts of Scandinavia continue to endure scorching temperatures, while smoke plumes from Siberia have affected air quality across the international dateline in Alaska. Unprecedented heat in western north America has also triggered devastating wildfires in recent weeks.
Among the Scandinavian countries enduring a lasting heatwave, the southern Finnish town of Kouvola Anjala, has seen 27 consecutive days with temperatures above 25C. “This is Finland, you know, it’s not Spain, it’s not north Africa,”, Ms. Nullis emphasised to journalists in Geneva.
“Certainly, when you see the images we’ve seen in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands this week it’s shocking, but under climate change scenarios, we are going to see more extreme events in particular extreme heat,” the WMO official added.
Concerns persist about rising sea temperatures in high northern latitudes, too, Ms. Nullis said, describing the Gulf of Finland in the Baltic Sea at a “record” high, “up to 26.6C on 14 July”, making it the warmest recorded water temperature since records began some 20 years ago.
Echoing a call by UN Secretary-General António Guterres to all countries to do more to avoid a climate catastrophe linked to rising emissions and temperatures, Ms. Nullis urged action, ahead of this year’s UN climate conference, known as COP26, in Glasgow, in November.
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