Monday, June 21, 2021

India, Germany ink pact for combating plastic entering the marine environment

With an aim of sustainable solid waste management and eradication of plastic entering marine life, India and Germany inked an agreement on Technical Cooperation titled ‘Cities Combating Plastic Entering the Marine Environment’ at an online conference in New Delhi today.

Marking the glorious 63 years of development cooperation between the two countries, Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs said, It gives me great pleasure to kickstart this new endeavor with our German partner. The project’s outcomes are in line with the objectives of Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban, which focuses on sustainable solid waste management and Prime Minister’s vision to phase out single-use plastic by 2022.”

Aimed at enhancing practices to prevent plastic from entering the marine environment, the agreement delineates the contours of the Joint Declaration of Intent regarding cooperation in the field of ‘Prevention of Marine Litter’ signed by India and Germany in 2019.

The implementation of the project will be undertaken at the national level in the states like Uttar Pradesh, Kerala and Andaman & Nicobar Island and in the cities of Kanpur, Kochi and Port Blair for the span of three and a half years.

Marine ecosystem: An imperative notion of our lives

Littered Marine ecosystems adversely affect the fishery and tourism sector across the world. In addition to the negative economic trajectory, it also affects public health with increased concerns about micro-plastic and the risk of particles entering the food chain.

What more alarming is that in recent times an estimated 15-20 percent of all plastics are entering oceans via riverine ecosystems are contributed by 10 of the world’s most polluting rivers. And two of these rivers are located in India, namely Ganga and Brahmaputra. Concerns about the level of plastic waste in the oceans and marine ecosystems have also alarmed the public and policymakers across the globe.

The Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban

With a special focus on preventing plastic litter from entering the rivers and water bodies, cities will be equipped with the advanced collection, segregation, and marketing of plastic waste management techniques, the agreement would boost the implementation of the Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban mission.

With combined involvement of data management, reporting systems, civil society, and increased cooperation with recyclers through a digital platform, foster improvements in segregation, collection, transportation, treatment and disposal of waste in municipalities would result in no waste finds its way into rivers or oceans.

The new project is another successful synergy between Indo-German Bilateral Development Corporation.

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