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Breakfast event on marine litter and microplastics during UNEA-3.

Beat #marinelitter - does international governance get it?

#CleanSeas Tent

Download the PDF Flyer here

Date, Time : Tuesday 5th of December, 07:30 – 09:30 (Food served from 07:30 - Programme starts at 08:00)

Hosted by: Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment

Organized by: GRID-Arendal and the Global Partnership on Marine Litter

Venue: Cleanseas Tent

Facilitator and moderator: Kristal Ambrose, Director and Founder, Bahamas Plastic Movement

During the last two editions of the United Nations Environment Assembly there has been increasing momentum towards tackling marine plastic pollution globally and substantial efforts and progress have been made in that direction. In addition, at the Oceans Conference in New York in June this year there was growing recognition that the issue of marine litter and microplastics is a large environmental problem that require stronger international commitments.

The study prepared by UN Environment on the existing regulatory frameworks and governance strategies points towards gaps that need to be addressed to combat marine litter and microplastics. It is worthwhile considering the reasons for these gaps and consider how to strengthen existing conventions, legal framework, action plans and other governance strategies. Meanwhile there is a growing recognition that we lack a coherent international governing structure that effectively addresses marine litter, and that also has to be added to the global architecture to successfully and holistically address the problem. Different measures are certainly needed to address the sea-based and the land-based sources of marine litter.

Download the PDF Flyer here


Peter Harris, Managing Director, GRID-Arendal


Keynote address

Vidar Helgesen, Minister of Climate and Environment, Norway

Opening remarks

Ibrahim Usman Jibril, Minister of State for Environment, Nigeria

Tu Ruihe, Deputy Director General of International Cooperation, Ministry of Environmental Protection, China

Elliot Harris, UN Assistant Secretary-General, United Nations Environment, New York Office

Policy review

The effectiveness of relevant governance strategies and approaches – existing legal frameworks, gaps and way forward

Karen Raubenheimer, Research Fellow, ANCORS, University of Wollongong

Are businesses ahead of policy?
The New Plastics Economy initiative: Redesign, innovation and reuse with the consumer product sector

Jocelyn Bleriot, Communications Executive Officer, Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Closing the loop - the Norwegian Retailers Environmental Fund
Eirik Oland, Head of External Affairs, Grønt Punkt Norge

Preventing marine plastic litter - now! Why sound waste collection and disposal is top priority

Dr Costas Velis, University of Leeds - Leader, Marine Litter Task Force, International Solid Waste Association

Is the Norwegian waste management system policy driven? Public-private-civil society cooperation to combat marine litter

Nancy Strand, CEO, Avfall Norge

How can present policy frameworks be more efficient?
Would other frameworks be more effective?

Contributions of the Basel Convention to the sound management of wastes to reduce their impact on our oceans
Rolph Payet, Executive Secretary, Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions

Plastics management for SIDS: Challenges and considerations

Bethanie Carney Almroth, Senior Lecturer, Dept. of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Gothenburg

Can we improve policing of MARPOL Annex V to prevent illegal dumping of waste in the oceans?

Jessica Graham, Strategic Policy Advisor, INTERPOL

A new global treaty on marine litter and microplastics? Lessons from existing environmental agreements

Marco Lambertini, Director General, WWF International

Open moderated debate

Closing contributions


Peter Harris, Managing Director, GRID-Arendal
Closing remarks
Vidar Helgesen, Minister of Climate and Environment, Norway

Speaker's Bio's

Kristal Ambrose (@bahaplasmvmnt)
Kristal Ambrose also known as ‘Kristal Ocean’ is an environmental scientist studying marine debris and plastic pollution in The Bahamas. After sailing across the Pacific Ocean in 2012 to study the Western Garbage Patch, Kristal was inspired to return home to The Bahamas to spark a plastic pollution revolution. Her career in the environmental field spans nearly a decade and for the past three years she has been working diligently on plastic pollution research and education in her country. In 2013, she began The Plastic Beach Project; a citizen science based initiative that studied plastic concentrations on beaches in The Bahamas. Her passion for the issue led her to develop and launch Bahamas Plastic Movement (BPM), a non-profit organization geared towards raising awareness and finding solutions to plastic pollution. Since embarking on her journey to change with Bahamas Plastic Movement, she has brought awareness of the issue to thousands locally and globally through educational lectures, summer camp programs and citizen science projects. She was awarded the 2014 Environmental Youth Leader Award from The Government of The Bahamas for her efforts in the field of plastic pollution research and education. Most recently she was featured in both the Sierra Club Magazine and Coastal Living Magazine where in the latter she was named an Ocean Hero by musician Jack Johnson for her efforts. After graduating from Gannon University in Erie, PA with a Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (focus on Environmental Science, Biology and Education), she began her graduate studies at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada where she is pursuing a Master’s degree in Marine Management.

Peter Harris (@PeterHarrisGRID / @GRIDArendal)
Peter joined GRID-Arendal as Managing Director in 2014. He is a graduate of the University of Washington (Seattle USA) and completed a PhD at the University of Wales (Swansea UK). He has worked in the field of marine geology and science management for over 30 years and published over 100 scientific papers. He taught marine geology at the University of Sydney and conducted research on UK estuaries, the Great Barrier Reef, the Fly River Delta (Papua New Guinea) and Antarctica. He worked for 20 years for Australia’s national geoscience agency as a scientist and manager. In 2009 he was appointed a member of the group of experts for the United Nations World Ocean Assessment. Apart from managing all of GRID-Arendal’s amazing activities, his interests include new methods for the conduct of environmental assessments (expert elicitation method) and the use of multivariate statistics and geomorphology to provide tools to manage the global ocean environment.

Vidar Helgesen (@VidarHelgesen / @kldep)
Vidar Helgesen is a politician from The Conservative Party in Norway, currently the Minister of Climate and Environment. He holds a Cand. Jur. Degree from the University of Oslo, and he worked as a special advisor at the International Red Cross in Geneva from 1998 to 2001. Before his current position, he has been state secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, secretary-general of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) and minister of EEA and EU Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Chief of Staff at the Office of the Prime Minister in Norway. In his younger days, he was a leader of Operation Day’s Work and actively engaged in promoting Norwegian EU membership.

Ibrahim Usman Jibril (@iujibril / @fmenv)
Ibrahim Usman Jibril has over 30 years of working experience, 25 of which were spent as a Land Officer in the administration of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja. Ibrahim is a land reform specialist, a former Deputy Director, Development Control Abuja, and has worked with more than 5 FCT Ministers. He was once the Director of Land Administration Department of the FCT. He was a seasoned technocrat with specialisation in urban renewal, spatial data management and land information system Nasarawa Geographic Information System (NAGIS) where he became known as the “NAGIS’s Brain Box”. Termed as a workaholic, strict disciplinarian, experienced and a corrupt-free technocrat, apreciated by his colleagues and those whom have worked with him, Ibrahim holds the highly ranked traditional title of – Wamban Nasarawa, Nasarawa LGA of Nasarawa state. Ibrahim Usman Jibril was born in 1958 and has a degree in Education & Geography and a Masters in Land Resources, both from Bayero University in Kano. He has worked as a geography teacher in many schools and a polytechnic. During his national service he served as an Instructor in map reading with the Nigerian Army School of Artillery, Kachia, Kaduna state.

Tu Ruihe
He is currently the Deputy Director-General, Department of International Cooperation, Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP), responsible for environmental cooperation affairs with countries in Europe and Central Asia, and issues related to environment and trade. He also serves as Deputy Director-General of MEP’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, and Deputy Director-General of MEP’s Taiwan Affairs Office. He has a Bachelor Degree in Science, Master Degree in Engineering and was trained in Ph. D. General Courses in Environmental Economics. Before joining the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA), he served as a consultant or reviewer for environmental impact assessment (EIA) reports of dozens of new road or railway and industrial development proposals, and was ever hired as Expert Trainer and Consultant for EIA Training Project co-developed by Asia Development Bank and the SEPA. He is rich in experiences and expertise of international cooperative activities and in negotiation process of multilateral environmental agreements, and is highly associated with multilateral or global environmental organizations and agencies and international agenda on environment and development.

Elliot Harris (@UNEP)
Mr. Harris has over 25 years of international experience in the fields of international economics and development policy analysis, coupled with knowledge of the United Nations system, multilateral and inter–agency coordination processes. He joined UN Environment’s Senior Management Team in 2013 as Director of the New York Office and Secretary to the Environment Management Group. He plays a central role in UN Environment’s contribution to the post-2015 development agenda, the Rio+20 Summit outcomes as well as the interagency coordination mechanisms such as the Environment Management Group and the High-Level Committee on Programmes of the United Nations Chief Executives Board. Prior to joining UN Environment, Mr. Harris began his career in the International Monetary Fund in 1988, where he worked in the African Department and the Fiscal Affairs Department. In 2002, he became an Adviser in the Policy Development and Review Department, and was appointed in 2008 as Special Representative to the United Nations, in addition to serving as Assistant Director of the Strategy and Policy Review Department. Mr. Harris holds a Bachelor of Science degree in German and political science and an advanced degree in economics. He was awarded an Advanced Studies Certificate in international economics and policy research from the Institute of World Economics in Kiel, Germany.

Karen Raubenheimer (@KRaubenheimer / @UOW)
Karen Raubenheimer is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS) at the University of Wollongong. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has contracted her to conduct an assessment regarding the effectiveness of international and regional governance frameworks to prevent marine plastic litter and microplastics. This is part of the project "Global Partnership on Marine Litter - Out of sight, out of mind", and it will be presented at this assembly. Karen's PhD thesis was titled "Towards an Improved Framework to Prevent Marine Plastic Debris" and she also holds a Master in Environmental Management. Her previous experiences include being a World Harbour Project Assistant, a researcher and diver at Spot a Shark, and operations manager for Surfrider Foundation Australia. She is passionate about oceans and keeping them clean.

Jocelyn Bleriot (@jossbleriot / @circulareconomy)
Jocelyn Blériot, Head of Editorial and Public Affairs at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, has an academic background drawing focus on literature, philosphy and sociology. Having spent most of his career in the media industry as a journalist and editor, he notably develops written and video content, coordinates the production of reports and edits books produced by Ellen MacArthur Foundation Publishing. He represented the Foundation on the European Resource Efficiency Platform (European Commission) and manages the relationship with EU institutions.

Eirik Oland (@eogpn / @gront_punkt)
Eirik Oland is the Head of External Affair for Green Dot Norway, which is a privately owned non-profit company responsible for financing the recovery and recycling of used packaging on behalf of the industrial sector. Before he became the Head of External Affairs in 2013, he was the Head of Communications in the same company since 2002. He is also the Chair of the Board for “Kretsløpet”, an independent journal for waste and recycling as well as businesses and disciplines related to this industry. He is also a member of the board of “Keep Norway Beautiful”, and has held several positions in European organisations as EXPRA (Extended Producer Responsibility Alliance) and EPRO (European Plastics Recycling and Recovery Organisations). He is now main responsible for building up “the Norwegian Retailers Environmental Fund”.

Costas Velis (@CostasVelis / @ISWA_org)
Costas Velis is the chair for the Marine Litter Task for of the International Solid Waste Association, and a lecturer on Resource Efficiency Systems at the University of Leeds. He has received several prestigious international awards for his research papers, including the ISWA Publication Award 2015 and 2013, the CIWM James Jacskon Award for 2015, and the ICE Thomas Telford Award for 2014. He is Associate Editor of Waste Management & Research, and of Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology, and regularly peer-reviews for various journals. His research interests center around several aspects of energy and materials recovery, specializing in production and quality assurance of secondary fuels and materials from wastes. His vision is to advance the agenda for the sustainable recovery of resources which are currently wasted.

Nancy Strand (@nancyastrand / @AvfallNorge)
Nancy Strand is the CEO of Avfall Norge, the association for the Norwegian waste management and recycling sector. She has been involved in efforts to combat marine litter for ten years, and is Chair of the Board of Keep Norway Beautiful, an organization that coordinates volunteer cleanup actions throughout Norway. Before her current position she worked as Senior Advisor at Bergfald Environmental Advisors, and as Manager for LOOP, a foundation that fosters better recycling habits. In 1990 she founded one of Norway’s first environmental consultancies, and has worked to coordinate business concerns with environmental efforts throughout her career. She holds a degree in Business Administration from the Norwegian Business School, and Environmental Resource Management from the University College of Southeast Norway.

Rolph Payet (@rolphpayet / @brsmeas)
Rolph Payet is the Executive Secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions. Formerly a Minister for Environment and Energy in the Seychelles, Pro-Chancellor of the University of Seychelles and Associate Professor at the Linnaeus University in Sweden. He has been a lead Author of the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change, in the UN Group of Experts on the Regular Process and Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum. He is also a member/trustee of the Global Island Partnership, the Sea Level Rise Foundation, the Seychelles University Foundation, the Seychelles Centre for Marine Research and Technology, the Island Conservation Society and the Silhouette Foundation. Among his many specialties are small island states, marine policy and coastal management and adaptation, and his research interests lies within earth system dynamics, climate change and island systems.

Bethanie Carney Almroth (@goteborgsuni)
Bethanie Carney Almroth is an associate professor at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden where she teaches undergraduate level courses in biology and environmental science as well as master’s courses in ecotoxicology and sustainability. She has a background in marine biology and ecotoxicology and her research focuses on fish physiology and mechanisms of effects of exposure to environmental pollutants in fish. Special emphasis is placed on microplastics and plastic associated chemicals, including endocrine disrupting compounds. This work is done using field sampling and laboratory experiments, applying the use of both in vivo and in vitro systems. Bethanie also works with macroplastic pollution, an issue she is tackling within multidisciplinary research groups including natural, social and humanitarian sciences. She also works actively with outreach communication, interacting with the general public, local and national policy makers, and industry representatives. Bethanie’s outreach aims to inspire and inform citizens about the wonders of science, and to explain how science can help identify and solve environmental issues. She also aids decision makers in mitigation of problems with plastics through scientific discourse.

Jessica Graham (@jmgrahamenator / @INTERPOL_EC)
Jessica Graham serves as a Strategic Policy Advisor for INTERPOL, Illicit Markets Sub-Directorate, Environmental Security Programme. Jessica is a former U.S. State Department official for nearly a decade where she managed law enforcement and environmental security programs. She oversaw capacity building programs across Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America of up to $40 million annually. Successes included negotiating resolutions and pushing forward the environmental security agenda in the UN Crime Commission, Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), ASEAN, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the G-7, and the G20. Jessica has extensive experience living and working abroad in East Asia, Central Europe, and Eastern Africa. Jessica received her Master’s degree from the University of California, San Diego where she studied International Politics and Chinese Studies and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida.

Marco Lambertini (@WWF_DG / @WWF)
Marco Lambertini became Director General of WWF International in April 2014, to drive the achievement of the global conservation organization’s critical mission to save life on Earth and to lead the secretariat team based in Gland, Switzerland. With 35 years of conservation leadership, Marco Lambertini began his association with WWF as a youth volunteer growing up in his native Italy. Prior to joining WWF, he served as Chief Executive of BirdLife International. That role saw him broaden BirdLife’s global reach and relevance, and develop decentralized structures for most effective global conservation impact. He managed a highly decentralized secretariat, overseeing a global partnership of over 120 civil society organizations based in countries and territories in all continents. Marco Lambertini has a degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the University of Pisa, and has published books ranging from Safari in Africa (Muzzio) to A naturalist’s guide to the Tropics (Chicago University Press).

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