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Marine litter - Photo:Marine litter
Marine litter Marine litter

Norway to strengthen cooperation with the UN on marine plastic litter from shipping and fisheries

'In the fight against marine litter, it is vital to strengthen the capacity to prevent pollution from shipping and fisheries in developing countries. Norway is therefore allocating NOK 40 million to a new project under the International Maritime Organization (IMO), which has a great deal of expertise in the field,’ said Minister of International Development Dag-Inge Ulstein.

Norway’s NOK 40 million contribution to IMO is for the establishment of the GloLitter project. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is also involved in this project. The funding from Norway will be used in implementing IMO’s action plan to prevent marine litter from shipping and fishing vessels.

‘Shipping and fisheries are a major source of marine litter, and Norway has considerable knowledge in this area. Through the The GloLitter project we will contribute to strengthen international efforts to fight plastic litter from shipping and fisheries. The Government is also working to achieve a comprehensive global agreement to combat marine plastic litter from all sources,’ said Minister of Climate and Environment, Ola Elvestuen.

Plastic litter and microplastic litter in rivers and the oceans is a growing environmental problem. Norway has been working systematically for some years to strengthen global governance structures to prevent marine litter. 

In 2018, the Government established a development programme to assist developing countries in combating marine litter. NOK 1.6 billion has been allocated to the programme for the period 2019-2022.

‘This new agreement is a vital element of the Government’s development programme to combat marine litter and microplastics and essential in the Government’s efforts to promote clean and productive oceans,’ Mr Ulstein said.

Norway’s Ambassador to the UK, Wegger Chr Strømmen, signed the agreement on behalf of Norway on 5 December. 

This is the second agreement Norway has entered into with IMO in 2019. Earlier this year, Norway and IMO launched a project to promote green shipping in developing countries. GreenVoyage-2050, as the project is called, is part of IMO’s strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from shipping. 

‘The oceans are a vital source of food, jobs and welfare. These are three of the reasons why the combat against marine litter is so important for Norway. Norway is responsible for huge sea areas, and we therefore have a special responsibility to raise awareness of this issue,’ said Minister of Fisheries and Seafood Harald T. Nesvik.