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Please register to attend the event here

On Wednesday, November 18, 2020, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Marine Plastics Project will present “Addressing Marine Plastics: A Roadmap to a Circular Economy”. The roadmap uses a systemic approach by tackling the issue of marine plastics at source, and by involving all stakeholders along the plastics value chain, to rethink and redesign an entire plastics economy. It identifies 4 building blocks to achieve a circular economy for plastics including: (1) creating cross-cutting enabling conditions; (2) eliminating all problematic and unnecessary plastic products including toxic additives; (3) innovating product design and business models towards delivery of reusable, recyclable or compostable toxic additive-free plastics; and (4) circulating plastics in the economy at their highest value and keeping these out of the environment.

The Roadmap can be used as a guidance reference by funding agencies, governments, businesses and civil society organizations to define the scope of their respective strategies on specific working areas and topics, and to facilitate and scale up the interventions on plastic pollution, within a circular economy approach.

The Roadmap is the signature product of the project “Addressing Marine Plastics: A Systemic Approach”, which was carried out by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in partnership with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF) New Plastic Economy, Ocean Conservancy (OC), GRID-Arendal, and with the catalytic assistance of the GEF (https://gefmarineplastics.org). To design the roadmap, the partners synthesized existing evidence and lessons learned from collective experience, into an action-oriented strategic roadmap.

The roadmap is available for reading as an e-book and for download here. The project will roll out the roadmap via a webinar at 9 AM Eastern Standard Time on Wednesday, November 18, 2020. The panels will discuss a coordinated roadmap including the building blocks and knowledge products used to design and opportunities for implementing it, and explore how some countries are tackling the issue of marine plastics.

Event Details

Addressing Marine Plastics: A Roadmap to a Circular Economy

A Webinar, 9 – 10:30 AM EST, Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Objectives and format of the Webinar: Liana Talaue McManus, GRID-Arendal (Host & Project Coordinator)
Welcome remarks: Leticia Carvalho & Elisa Tonda, UN Environment Programme (UNEP)

Opening remarks: Leah Bunce Karrer, The Global Environment Facility (GEF)
What is the project “Addressing Marine Plastics: A Systemic Approach?: Isabelle Vanderbeck, UNEP GEF Task Manager

What is a roadmap?

Why a Plastics Road Map: Feng Wang, UNEP Circular Economy on Plastics
What makes a Road Map: Ran Xie & Feng Wang, UNEP Circular Economy on Plastics

Seeding the Road Map by:

Developing a set of global commitments: Sander DeFruyt, Ellen MacArthur Foundation
Designing a Plastics’ Policy Playbook: Chever Voltmer, Ocean Conservancy

Building capacities for national waste and policy inventories: Heidi Savelli, UNEP Global Partnership on Marine Litter

Implementing Marine Plastics Pollution Action Plans:

In the Caribbean: Fadilah Ali, Global Partnership on Marine Litter – Caribbean Node
In the Philippines: Crispian Lao, The Philippines
In Seychelles: Nanette Laure, Government of Seychelles

Question and Answer Moderator: Olivia Finch, Ellen MacArthur Foundation
Host and Project Coordinator: Liana Talaue McManus, GRID-Arendal

Speakers' Profiles

Leticia Carvalho heads the Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems Branch of UNEP’s Ecosystem Division. Previously, she worked for the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment, developing policies, plans and programmes for the control of environmental pollutants, and for the implementation of the conventions on chemicals and hazardous wastes in Brazil. Leticia has a degree in Oceanography from the University of Rio Grande Do Sul, and a Master’s degree in Sustainable Development from the University of Brasilia.

Elisa Tonda leads the Consumption and Production Unit in UNEP’s Economy Division. The Unit has played a leading role in the strengthening UN Environment's contribution to the greening of global value chains, and is currently coordinating the development of several initiatives in the domain of circular economy. Elisa has a Master degree in Environmental Engineering from the Polytechnic of Turin, Italy and in Sustainable Development from the University of London, UK.

An international conservationist, Leah Bunce Karrer is dedicated to promoting the economic and social realities of natural resource decision-making. After serving as Deputy Chief Economist at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Leah joined the Global Environment Facility as Senior Program Officer where she focuses on multi-million investments in issues including Circular Economy. She holds a Ph.D. on People & Conservation from Duke University.

Isabelle Vanderbeck is UNEP’s Global Environment Facility (GEF) Task Manager overseeing projects funded under the GEF International Waters portfolio. These include projects that UNEP implements globally, and those with regional scope such as those in Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean. As Task Manager, she shepherds the process from project concept to implementation so that these align with the GEF’s strategic funding priorities that are defined on a four-year fund replenishment cycle. She holds a Master of Science degree in Hydrology from the University of Louvain.

Feng Wang serves as a Programme Officer to coordinate waste and circularity in UNEP. He manages a great diversity of projects in the areas of Life Cycle Thinking, Sustainable Consumption and Production, and Circular Economy on plastics, electronics, tourism. Before joining UNEP, he worked as a researcher in the United Nations University in Germany and a visiting researcher in Statistics Netherlands. Feng holds a Doctorate Degree from Delft University of Technology, on eco-design and waste management of obsolete products.

Ran Xie works on a circular economy for plastics and electronics in the Economy Division of UNEP as an Associate Programme Officer. She supports the design and implementation of projects on sustainable sectoral value chains, circular economy and sustainable consumption and production. Before joining UNEP, she worked in the China-ASEAN Environmental Cooperation Center affiliated with the Ministry of Ecology and Environment of China. She has a master’s degree in international relations and environmental policy.

Sander Defruyt leads the New Plastics Economy initiative at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, an ambitious, global initiative bringing together key stakeholders to rethink and redesign the future of plastics, starting with packaging. The initiative's Global Commitment gathers over 400 organisations behind one common vision and a set of concrete 2025 targets to address plastic waste at its source. Its global network of Plastic Pacts drive local collaborative implementation in countries across the world. Sander has a Master of Engineering degree (Mechanical Engineering, summa cum laude) from Ghent University.

Chever Voltmer has led Ocean Conservancy’s Plastic Policy and Finance team since 2018. She led work on the Plastics Policy Playbook and oversees a portfolio that includes the Trash Free Seas Alliance, Urban Ocean, projects in Vietnam and Mexico, and Ocean Conservancy’s engagement in various international plastics fora. Previously, she worked at the Office of Ocean and Polar Affairs at the Department of State, as lead for international marine debris issues, overseeing U.S. engagement on this issue in international fora. Chever holds undergraduate degrees in economics and Russian Studies and an M.S. in National Security Strategy from the National War College, where she was a Distinguished Graduate.

Heidi Savelli-Soderberg coordinates marine litter activities within the framework of UNEP’s Global Partnership on Marine Litter which is hosted by the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities (GPA). She has worked with coastal and marine management for 18 years including on land-based sources of pollution, protected areas and wildlife; communication, education, and awareness; and implementation of training programmes in wastewater management and assessment and monitoring of marine litter and microplastics. She trained as an ecotoxicologist with an MSc in Biology from Lund University in Sweden.

Fadilah Ali is the Program Manager for the Caribbean Node of the Global Partnership on Marine Litter which the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (GCFI) co-hosts together with UN Environment Programme. She previously conducted research on biological indicators for water quality and the distribution and impact of marine debris on British coastlines as well as research on the lionfish invasion within the Dutch Caribbean. She is also the Assistant Executive Director of GCFI and also works as a consultant in the Caribbean, managing projects on marine litter and fisheries. Fadilah received a M. Env. Sci. in Biodiversity and Conservation as well as an M. Phil in Ocean and Earth Science from the University of Southampton.

Crispian Lao is an authority on waste management and recycling for both government and private sectors. He is the Commissioner and Vice Chairman of the Philippine National Solid Waste Management Commission, and Founding President of the Philippine Alliance for Recycling and Material Sustainability. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Management from the Philippine’s De La Salle University.

Nanette Laure is the director general of the Enforcement and Permits Division in the Environment Department, Government of Seychelles, since 2015. Mrs. Laure was previously the director for Environmental Assessment and Permits in the Environment Department. She holds a Master Degree in Project Management and a degree in Bachelor of Arts (Urban and Regional Planning). Mrs. Laure joined the ministry back in 2006 and has served the ministry since.

Olivia Finch is a senior analyst within the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's Insight and Analysis Team. She is currently supporting our Knowledge Partner, Arup, on a project to explore the value and process of implementing circular economy principles in the built environment. Olivia also works on the overall strategy and management of a portfolio of philanthropically funded research projects. Prior to joining the Foundation, Olivia spent ten years in sustainability consultancy, advising businesses on their sustainability strategies, with a particular focus on environmental policy and regulation, corporate social responsibility (CSR), and environmental risk.

Liana Talaue McManus is an independent marine scientist seeking to integrate ocean science and socioeconomics to support decision and policy making and help resolve conflicts in the use and protection of coasts and oceans. She brings three decades of experience as professor of marine science and global change scientist to her role as project coordinator of international marine projects such as the GEF-sponsored Transboundary Waters Assessment Programme and the Marine Plastics Project. She holds a Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography from the University of Rhode Island and a B.S. in Marine Biology from the University of the Philippines.


Jean Hillstrom, Ocean Conservancy, Project Component Lead

Tiina Kurvits, GRID-Arendal, Project Manager

Rob Barnes, GRID-Arendal, Webinar IT Host

Jill Raval, UNEP, Assoc. GEF Task Manager

Please register to attend the event here

Release date: 26 Oct 2020


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