Ten leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states have endorsed the Bangkok Declaration on Combating Marine Debris in the region.
They approved the declaration during the plenary session of the 34th ASEAN Summit held at The Athenee Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand on Saturday.
In the document, the ASEAN leaders agreed to strengthen action at a national level and take collaborative steps among ASEAN countries and partners to significantly reduce and prevent the amount of marine debris, particularly from land-based activities, including taking environment-oriented management action.
They also agreed to encourage integrated land-to-sea approaches to prevent and reduce marine debris, strengthen their respective legislation and intensify regional and international cooperation, including dialogs on policies and exchanges of information.
To that end, they will promote inter-sectoral coordination among ASEAN sectoral bodies to address the multidimensional negative and far-reaching impact of marine debris, while dealing with the sources of marine debris pollution.
The ASEAN leaders also agreed to step up multi-party coordination and cooperation to wage war on marine debris, including applying joint action and partnerships to address the challenge.
They further pledged to promote the involvement of private sectors and investment in preventing and reducing marine debris, including partnerships between public and private sectors through various mechanisms and incentives.
They also agreed to promote an innovative solution to raise plastic costs and increase the efficiency of resources by prioritizing approaches, such as a circular economy and R3 (reducing, reusing and recycling), and increasing capacity and the exchange of best practices among ASEAN member states and support from external partners.
They later agreed to strengthen research capacities and applications of scientific knowledge to wage war on marine debris, especially in supporting science-based policies and decision-making processes.
Lastly, they agreed to expedite advocacy and steps to increase public awareness and participation, and improve education with the aim of altering behaviors to prevent its spreading and reduce marine debris.
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