ISLAMABAD     -    Around eight million tons of plastic waste was being dumped in the oceans across the world.

These remarks were made by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Senior Programme Officer, Coastal and Marine Natural Resources Group Maeve Nightingale at the 7th IUCN Asia Regional Conservation Forum (RCF).

Maeve Nightingale said, “Asia has 90 percent of fishermen, which is 30 million people belonging to the profession where women particularly in East Asia region have been found involved in fishing.”

Keeping in view the pollution level, Maeve Nightingale said there was urgent need to develop policies and legislation for healthy legislation at the regional level.

“International Union for Conservation of Nature has been helping the Asian countries in this regard and has been undertaking various projects from community awareness and capacity building to gender equality with ecology conservation,” she added.

Maeve Nightingale was elaborating the participants about Healthy Oceans in a panel discussion moderated by Senator (Retd) Javed Jabbar former IUCN Vice President.

She mentioned that knowledge, skills and capacity building gaps was hindering developing countries from benefiting actual advantages offered by oceans in the context of environmental, social and economic outputs. Chief Conservator Balochistan Forest Department Abdul Jabbar told the participants about the first marine protected area of Pakistan the Astola Island in Balochistan.

 

Benjamas Chotthong from Thailand Environment Institute told about the measures taken by the Thai government on plastic waste management.

“Thailand generates 27 million tonnes of municipal waste per year where marine debris comprised of one million ton per year. However, the recycling of waste ratio is 26 percent which is generated around 1.14 kilogramme per person per day,” she added.

Maeve Nightingale said Thailand was moving towards end of plastic waste by 2027 as three plastic items would be banned by 2019 and four plastic items by 2022.

Earlier, Adviser to Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam chaired the panel discussion on Healthy Lands and Waters where the local and international experts from Asian region made deliberations on diverse issues ranging from Billion Tree Afforestation Project to hill wetlands and grasslands whereas a short video was displayed on the Sustainable Land Management Programme to combat desertification in Pakistan.