Norway increasing funding for global efforts to combat marine litter

Minster of Foregin Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide addressing Our Ocean 2018

– I am happy to announce that Norway has set aside 200 million dollars for the next four-year period to assist developing countries in combatting marine litter, said Norway’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Ine Eriksen Søreide during last week's Our Ocean Conference, hosted by the Government of Indonesia in Bali.

Norway is playing a leading role in the global efforts to promote clean and healthy oceans. In 2018, Norway has committed 35 million USD to combat marine plastics and micro-plastics. Some of the funds are earmarked support to the Indonesian government’s bold target of reducing plastic waste into the sea by 70% by 2025.

Marine litter is one of the biggest environmental problems of our time. Every year, around eight million tonnes of plastic end up in the oceans. The plastic does not disappear, and it is highly damaging to marine life.

– We have to stop using the oceans as a dumpster, the Minister told the participants in Bali.

The development programme on marine litter is a key element of the Government’s ocean efforts, and is an important Norwegian contribution to the global efforts to ensure clean and sustainable oceans.

Proud of cooperation with Indonesia

During her announcement in Bali, Minister Eriksen Søreide also highlighted the efforts of the Indonesian Government:

– The Project Stop, in Muncar, just across the strait from Bali is a good example of an impactful measure. In close cooperation with the local authorities, Project Stop is focusing on improving waste management on land to reduce the amount of marine litter. Norway is proud to be among its supporting partners.

Working with partner countries and the World Bank to eliminate marine litter

Norway has worked to ensure that the prevention of marine pollution, including marine plastic litter, is included as a key theme in the World Bank’s new multi-donor Problue Trust Fund. The Norwegian Government has provided NOK 125 million to the Fund in 2018.

Various countries have together pledged a total of around NOK 600 million to the Problue Trust Fund, which is expected to an important role in helping countries to reach the Sustainable Development Goals and achieve the goal of eliminating marine litter.

Sustainable oceans important for the global food systems

– In the next 30 years, the world’s population is expected to grow by two billion people. That means that the future share of food and other resources coming from the oceans will have to increase substantially to meet growing demand. This can be done – estimates show that the ocean economy could more than double its contribution to the global economy by 2030. This requires us to manage the oceans wisely, Minister Eriksen Søreide stressed in the Bali meeting.

Norway to host Our Ocean 2019

In her speech, she also formally launched Norway as the host for Our Ocean 2019, which will take place in Oslo 24-25 October.

Norway is looking forward to hosting next year's Our Ocean Conference in Oslo. From left to right: Councellor Minister Bjørnar Dahl Hotvedt, Norwegian Embassy in Jakarta, Norway's Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide, Project Manager for Our Ocean 2019 Hilde Solbakken and Norway's Ambassador to Indonesia, Vegard Kaale. Photo: @NorwayMFA

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