One Ocean Summit

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    In News 

    • India is committed to eliminating single-use plastic and the Indian Navy will contribute 100 ship days to clean the plastic waste from the sea, said the PM during the One Ocean Summit.

    About

    • One Ocean Summit:
      • Organised by: France in Brest in cooperation with the United Nations and the World Bank.
      • Objective: To mobilize the international community to take action towards preserving and supporting healthy and sustainable ocean ecosystems.
      • It was addressed by various other Heads of State and Governments from countries like Germany, the United Kingdom, South Korea, Japan, Canada among others. 
    • India’s Stand at Summit:
      • India has always been a maritime civilisation. Our ancient scriptures and literature talk about the gifts of the Oceans including marine life.
      • India supports the French initiative of a ”High Ambition Coalition on Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction ”.
      • India will be joining France in launching a global initiative on single-use plastics.
        • India supports the French initiative of a high ambition coalition on biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction.
      • India would phase out single-use plastic by 2022.
      • The country recently undertook a nationwide awareness campaign to clean plastic and other waste from coastal areas.
      • India hopes for a legally binding international treaty this year regarding a coalition on biodiversity.

    Issues and Challenges of Plastic 

    • Environment: It is harmful to the environment as it is non-biodegradable and takes years to disintegrate. Marine wildlife such as seabirds, whales, fishes and turtles eat plastic waste and most die of starvation as their stomachs are filled with plastic debris.
    • Food and health: The transfer of contaminants between marine species and humans through the consumption of seafood has been identified as a health hazard.
    • Climate change: Plastic, which is a petroleum product, also contributes to global warming. If plastic waste is incinerated, it releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, thereby increasing carbon emissions.
    • Tourism: Plastic waste damages the aesthetic value of tourist destinations, leading to decreased tourism-related incomes and major economic costs related to the cleaning and maintenance of the sites.
    • Financial costs of marine plastic pollution: According to conservative forecasts made in 2020, the direct harm to the blue economy of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations will be $2.1 billion per year.

    Government Initiatives 

    • Economic Survey 2021-22 announced recently said that India has progressed on the fulfillment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 
    • India had announced its first Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement in 2015, and in 2021 announced ambitious targets to be achieved by 2030 to enable further reduction in emissions.
    • There is a need to start the one-word movement ‘LIFE’ which means Lifestyle for Environment urging mindful and deliberate utilization instead of mindless and destructive consumption.
    • India has been exercising significant climate leadership at the international stage under the International Solar Alliance (ISA), Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) and Leadership Group for Industry Transition (LeadIT Group).
    • 3P movement for climate change: PM introduced the “P3 (Pro-Planet People) movement” that shows India’s commitments towards climate change.

    Global Initiatives to Preserve Oceans

    • Legal efforts have been made at the international and national levels to address marine pollution.
      • The most important are:
        • The 1972 Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping Wastes and Other Matter (or the London Convention)
        •  The 1996 Protocol to the London Convention (the London Protocol)
        • The 1978 Protocol to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL).
    • The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) considers plastic marine debris and its ability to transport harmful substances as one of the main emerging issues affecting the environment.
      •  At the 2015 G7 summit in Bavaria, Germany, the risks of microplastics were acknowledged in the Leaders’ Declaration.
    • The Global Programme of Action (GPA) for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities:
      • The GPA is the only global intergovernmental mechanism directly addressing the connectivity between terrestrial, freshwater, coastal and marine ecosystems.
    • Greenpeace:
      • It is an environmental NGO that is dedicated to conserving the oceans and marine life across the globe.
      • Its grassroots efforts have resulted in the ban of destructive fishing practices, companies changing their fishing policies, and the creation of whale sanctuaries.
    • Glo Litter Partnerships Project (Launched by the IMO)

    Way Forward/ Suggestions

    • Recycling and reuse of plastic materials.
    • Existing international legally binding instruments should be further explored to address plastic pollution.
    • Reiterating the government’s commitment to phase out identified single-use plastic items that have low utility and high adverse environmental impact, 
    • There is a need for a National Action Plan or guidelines that should focus on implementing the plastic ban in a phase-wise manner in terms of urgency. 
    • Designing a product: Identifying plastic items that can be replaced with non-plastic, recyclable, or biodegradable materials is the first step. 
      • Find alternatives to single-use plastics and reusable design goods by working with product designers. Countries must embrace circular and sustainable economic practices throughout the plastics value chain to accomplish this.
    • Technologies and Innovation: Developing tools and technology to assist governments and organizations in measuring and monitoring plastic garbage in cities. 
    • Multi-stakeholder collaboration: Government ministries at the national and local levels must collaborate in the development, implementation and oversight of policies, which includes participation from industrial firms, non-governmental organizations and volunteer organizations. 

    Source: LM