Marine Litter is a global challenge that requires global cooperation by Countries, corporations, and other working together to advance a circular economy approach that will reduce the environmental effects of marine litter and recover the lost economic value of such litter.
Marine litter originates from many sources and causes a wide spectrum of environmental, economic, safety, health and cultural impacts. The very slow rate of degradation of most marine litter items, mainly plastics, together with the continuously growing quantity of the litter and debris disposed, is leading to a gradual increase in marine litter found at sea and on the shores.
These concerns lead to Kenya develop a 10 year National Marine Litter Management Action Plan (NMLMAP 2021-2030) to address the various challenges and impacts of Marine Liter to the environment. The Plan which is also responsive to the calls by the UNEP-Regional Sea Program, the United Nations Environment Assembly, and regional endeavors to address the scourge of Marine Litter to the ocean and other aquatic ecosystems was officially launched by Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Forestry, Mr. Keriako Tobiko (Photo 1) during the UNEA @50 side event in UNEP, Gigiri, witnessed by different delegates (Photo 2).
The Action Plan contains a set of actions requiring the collective involvement of various stakeholders and allows them to identify measures and actions already being implemented and consider others needed to further combat marine litter. The action plan has been disseminated to coastal counties and stakeholders in readiness for implementation.
It is expected that successful implementation of the NMLMAP will contribute to the achievement of SDG 6 (target 6.3) on reduction of pollution by reducing untreated wastewater, municipal and waste management which contain micro-plastics, SDG 12 (target 12.4) on the management of chemicals and all waste throughout their life cycle and SDG 14 (target 14.1) on reduction of marine pollution, such as plastic floating debris from land-based activities.