The ASEAN Framework of Action on Marine Debris covers various actions (see Table 1) and suggested activities to reduce marine debris in the Southeast Asian region. The suggested activities are those for further discussion by ASEAN and its partners under the proposed regional action plan on combating marine debris in the ASEAN region.
Source: ASEAN Framework of Action on Marine Debris.
Started at the ASEAN Conference on Reducing Marine Debris in ASEAN Region in Phuket, Thailand, in November 2017, the initiative identified five pillars of action: policy support and strengthening; capacity building; education, research, and innovation; private sector engagement; and public awareness and outreach. Prior to the conference, the East Asia Summit (EAS) Conference on Combating Marine Plastic Debris, held in Bali, Indonesia, in September 2017, recommended proposing actions such as campaign, research, and education on marine debris, and policy reform and regulatory enforcement (Chairman’s Statement of the 12th East Asia Summit).
In January 2019, the Coordination Meeting on Marine Debris Action in ASEAN Region was organised prior to the 20th meeting of the ASEAN Working on Coastal and Marine Environment. The coordination meeting rearranged the five pillars of action into to four frameworks: policy support and planning; research, innovation, and capacity building; public awareness, education, and outreach; and private sector engagement. The coordination meeting also identified various actions and suggested activities under these frameworks.
On 5 March 2019, the Special ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Marine Debris, held in Bangkok, Thailand, welcomed the ASEAN Framework of Action on Marine Debris, and agreed to forward the Bangkok Declaration on Combating Marine Debris in ASEAN Region for consideration and adoption by the ASEAN leaders at the 34th ASEAN Summit in Bangkok, Thailand. In June 2019, the Bangkok Declaration was adopted at the 34th ASEAN Summit in Bangkok. The framework of action was welcomed by the ASEAN summit.
As a follow up, the World Bank has supported the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Thailand, as chair of the ASEAN Working Group on Coastal and Marine Environment in 2020, in the preparation of the ASEAN Regional Action Plan for Combating Marine Debris in the ASEAN Member States (2021–2025). The plan, launched on 28 May 2021, with financial support and technical guidance from the World Bank through PROBLUE, an umbrella multi-donor trust fund, offers an integrated approach to address marine plastic pollution in ASEAN over the next 5 years through 14 regional actions (see Table 2) at three key stages of plastic waste value chain: (1) reducing inputs into the system, (2) enhancing collection and minimising leakage, and (3) creating value for waste reuse.
Source: ASEAN Regional Action Plan for Combating Marine Debris in the ASEAN Member States (2021–2025).
Chairman’s Statement of the 12th East Asia Summit, 14 November 2017, Manila, Philippines. https://www.mofa.go.jp/files/000309985.pdf (accessed 26 October 2020).
Chairman’s Statement of the 34th ASEAN Summit, Bangkok, 23 June 2019, Advancing Partnership for Sustainability. https://asean.org/storage/2019/06/Final_Chairs-Statement-of-the-34th-ASEAN-Summit_as-of-23-June-2019-12….pdf (accessed 26 October 2020).
ASEAN Framework of Action on Marine Debris. https://asean.org/storage/2019/06/3.-ASEAN-Framework-of-Action-on-Marine-Debris-FINAL.pdf (accessed 26 October 2020).
ASEAN Regional Action Plan for Combating Marine Debris in the ASEAN Member States (2021–2025). https://asean.org/book/asean-regional-action-plan-for-combating-marine-debris-in-the-asean-member-states-2021-2025-2/ (accessed 2 June 2021).