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Indonesia unveils action plan to prevent 16 million tonnes of plastic from entering the ocean

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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.”

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Environment

As the world’s forests continue to shrink, urgent action is needed to safeguard their biodiversity

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Urgent action is needed to safeguard the biodiversity of the world’s forests amid alarming rates of deforestation and degradation, according to the latest edition of The State of the World’s Forests released today.

Published on the International Day for Biological Diversity (22 May), the report shows that the conservation of the world’s biodiversity is utterly dependent on the way in which we interact with and use the world’s forests.

The report was produced by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in partnership, for the first time, with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and technical input from the UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC).

It highlights that some 420 million hectares of forest have been lost through conversion to other land uses since 1990, although the rate of deforestation has decreased over the past three decades.

The COVID-19 crisis has thrown into sharp focus the importance of conserving and sustainably using nature, recognizing that people’s health is linked to ecosystem health.

Protecting forests is key to this, as they harbour most of the Earth’s terrestrial biodiversity. This report shows that forests contain 60,000 different tree species, 80 percent of amphibian species, 75 percent of bird species, and 68 percent of the Earth’s mammal species.

FAO’s Global Forest Resources Assessment 2020, noted in the report, found that despite a slowing of the rate of deforestation in the last decade, some 10 million hectares are still being lost each year through conversion to agriculture and other land uses.

“Deforestation and forest degradation continue to take place at alarming rates, which contributes significantly to the ongoing loss of biodiversity,” FAO Director-General, QU Dongyu, and the Executive Director of UNEP, Inger Andersen, said in the foreword.

The report presents a comprehensive overview of forest biodiversity, including world maps revealing where forests still hold rich communities of fauna and flora, such as the northern Andes and parts of the Congo Basin, and where they have been lost.

Conservation and sustainable use:

In this report, a special study from the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission and the US Forest Service found 34.8 million patches of forests in the world, ranging in size from 1 hectare to 680 million hectares. Greater restoration efforts to reconnect forest fragments are urgently needed.

As FAO and UNEP prepare to lead the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration from 2021 and as countries consider a Global Biodiversity Framework for the future, Qu and Andersen both expressed their commitment for increased global cooperation to restore degraded and damaged ecosystems, combat climate change and safeguard biodiversity.

“To turn the tide on deforestation and the loss of biodiversity, we need transformational change in the way in which we produce and consume food,” said QU and Andersen. “We also need to conserve and manage forests and trees within an integrated landscape approach and we need to repair the damage done through forest restoration efforts.”

The report notes that the Aichi Biodiversity Target to protect at least 17 percent of the Earth’s terrestrial areas by 2020 has been achieved for forests, although progress is still required to ensure the representativeness and effectiveness of such protection. 

A study conducted by UNEP-WCMC for this report shows that the largest increase in protected forest areas occurred in broadleaved evergreen forests – such as those typically found in the tropics. Furthermore, over 30 percent of all tropical rainforests, subtropical dry forests and temperate oceanic forests are now located within protected areas.

Jobs and livelihoods:

Millions of people around the world depend on forests for their food security and livelihoods.

Forests provide more than 86 million green jobs. Of those living in extreme poverty, over 90 percent are dependent on forests for wild food, firewood or part of their livelihoods. This number includes eight million extremely poor, forest-dependent people in Latin America alone.

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Virtual Ocean Dialogues to Fast-track Action, Innovation and Resilience

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A healthy and resilient ocean can help tackle climate change while providing sustainable food sources and jobs around the world. Half of the world’s GDP is dependent on nature, according to the World Economic Forum, and more than 3 billion people rely on the ocean for their livelihoods. As countries begin to manage the economic and social impact of COVID-19, the ocean can be part of the solution.

To fast-track the innovations necessary for a healthy ocean, the Friends of Ocean Action, with the World Economic Forum, will convene the first Virtual Ocean Dialogues. From 1-5 June, Heads of State and Government, leaders from business, members of civil society and scientific communities will gather at a virtual summit to share innovation and solutions. It will give participants the opportunity to share and scale projects worldwide, accelerating their benefits. The event will be open to the public. Registration details can be found here.

“We need an all-hands-on-deck approach to achieve action for a healthy ocean, and with the Virtual Ocean Dialogues we are creating the opportunity to involve more people than ever before. No matter where you live and work in the world you can participate in these Dialogues – all you need is an interest in the future of two-thirds of our planet,” said Kristian Teleki, Director of Friends of Ocean Action, World Economic Forum.

Boosting ocean protection, tackling marine pollution, financing a sustainable blue economy and prioritizing data and science to feed billions will feature across the programme. The Dialogues have been designed for communities around the world to connect and exchange ideas.

During the event, finalists will be announced from the UpLink Ocean Solutions Sprint – a competition to unearth great ideas to solve the critical challenges of illegal fishing and plastic pollution. UpLink is a digital platform to crowdsource innovations to accelerate delivery of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is an open platform designed to engage anyone who wants to contribute to the global public good.

“The global community needs ideas and leadership to maintain action for a healthy ocean. I am delighted to support the Virtual Ocean Dialogues and invite anyone with a concern for the ocean to participate in these critical discussions. All of our lives depend on a thriving ocean, and on fast-tracking solutions to rebuild a resilient global community. The health of our ocean underpins the oxygen we breathe, provides food and job security for billions, and is our greatest ally in tackling climate change. We must prioritize the ocean, and that is what this event aims to achieve,” said Isabella Lövin, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Environment and Climate for Sweden, and Co-Chair of Friends of Ocean Action.

“The UN Ocean Conference has been postponed, but will be held in Lisbon as soon as conditions allow. To fill the gap in the calendar left by this postponement, the World Economic Forum and the Friends of Ocean Action have organized the Virtual Ocean Dialogues on 1-5 June. I have big expectations as to the quality and outcomes of these high-level, expert dialogues, and in the build-up to the UN Ocean Conference will ensure their findings are made available to all. In support of the implementation of SDG 14, I’m confident the Virtual Ocean Dialogues will play a very constructive role in maintaining the momentum to conserve and sustainably use the ocean’s resources,” said Peter Thomson, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean, and Co-Chair of Friends of Ocean Action.

“The World Economic Forum is mainstreaming innovations to unlock solutions to key challenges, that in turn will improve the state of the world. The first focus of UpLink is the ocean and the Sustainable Development Goal for life below water, SDG 14. By connecting leaders and innovators across the public and private sectors and beyond, and pooling ideas and resources, we can facilitate significant positive change for the ocean and people,” said Dominic Waughray, Head of the Platform for Global Public Goods and Managing Director, World Economic Forum.

The Friends of Ocean Action is a coalition of 58 ocean leaders who are fast-tracking solutions to the most pressing challenges facing the ocean. Its members come from business, civil society, international organizations, science and technology. It is hosted by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with the World Resources Institute.

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Restoring ecosystems in the Mediterranean

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The United Nations proclaimed 22 May as the International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. The slogan chosen for the 2020 edition of IBD – “Our solutions are in nature”— emphasizes the importance of working together at all levels to build a future of life in harmony with nature.

As the Mediterranean region grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, it is essential that to continue working on sealing the pathways through which pathogens can jump from animal hosts to humans. This can be achieved by restoring the health of strained of ecosystems and by halting the relentless encroachment on nature.

Ecosystem integrity can help regulate diseases by supporting a diversity of species so that it is more difficult for one pathogen to spill over, amplify or dominate. But a soon-to-be released UNEP/MAP report on the state of the environment and development in the Mediterranean confirms that ecosystems in our region are in dire straits.

At sea, 78 percent of assessed stocks are currently fished at biologically unsustainable levels. In the Western Mediterranean, 87 percent of stocks are overfished and at risk of being depleted. Mare Nostrum is also one of the most polluted by marine litter, mainly plastic, that is stifling marine creatures and making its way into their organisms through the ingestion of microplastics.

The United Nations proclaimed 22 May as the International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. The slogan chosen for the 2020 edition of IBD – “Our solutions are in nature”— emphasizes the importance of working together at all levels to build a future of life in harmony with nature.

As the Mediterranean region grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, it is essential that to continue working on sealing the pathways through which pathogens can jump from animal hosts to humans. This can be achieved by restoring the health of strained of ecosystems and by halting the relentless encroachment on nature.

Ecosystem integrity can help regulate diseases by supporting a diversity of species so that it is more difficult for one pathogen to spill over, amplify or dominate. But a soon-to-be released UNEP/MAP report on the state of the environment and development in the Mediterranean confirms that ecosystems in our region are in dire straits.

At sea, 78 percent of assessed stocks are currently fished at biologically unsustainable levels. In the Western Mediterranean, 87 percent of stocks are overfished and at risk of being depleted. Mare Nostrum is also one of the most polluted by marine litter, mainly plastic, that is stifling marine creatures and making its way into their organisms through the ingestion of microplastics.

UN Environment

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