Jakarta, 18 October – Organizations and institutions working on marine plastics knowledge in ASEAN gathered for the First Consultation Workshop for the Knowledge and Partnerships Platform of the Southeast Asia Regional Program on Combating Marine Plastics (SEA-MaP). The workshop was organized by the World Bank and implemented with the support of the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) along with the Institute for Global Environmental Studies (IGES).

The SEA-MaP team is still in the initial stage of establishing a regional platform that integrates knowledge and innovation on plastics circularity across the region, and this consultation workshop marks one of its first activities. It was pointed out during the workshop that various knowledge platforms have been launched and managed by different institutions, yet their impacts and effectiveness have not been fully examined. The proposed platform has its objective to serve as a comprehensive one-stop knowledge hub, providing technical assistance and fostering dialogues among stakeholders in the member states, equipped with deep knowledge and understanding of where supports are most needed in the region.

On this occasion, participants, both joining in-person and online, shared updates on their ongoing and upcoming work, and discussed potential coordination mechanisms to harmonize their efforts. It was unanimously acknowledged that in order to address knowledge gaps in the region, it was important to ensure seamless integration of existing resources and prevent work duplication. A stronger involvement and engagement with the ASEAN Member States was also one of the salient recommendations emerging as a result of this first round of consultation. Stakeholders also agreed that coordinated synergies, with each partner contributing with their expertise, will enhance the region’s efforts in implementing the ASEAN Regional Action Plan for Combating Marine Debris (ASEAN RAP).

The Knowledge and Partnership Platform under the SEA-MaP project aims to advance the implementation of Actions 8, 10, and 13, on strengthening the knowledge network on marine plastics, coordinating regional training programs, and providing knowledge support on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) of the ASEAN RAP.

Also read: A United ASEAN Against Plastic Pollution