Tuesday, June 15, 2021
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HomeWorldESCAP And Partners Launch Science-based E-learning Course To Tackle Marine Plastic Litter...

ESCAP And Partners Launch Science-based E-learning Course To Tackle Marine Plastic Litter In Cities


Bangkok
(ESCAP news) – Today, on World Oceans Day, the
United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and
the Pacific (ESCAP) and partners are launching an e-learning
course to help reduce the impact of plastic pollution. As
part of the Closing the Loop project, the course, entitled
Cities and Marine Plastic Pollution: Building a Circular
Economy,
demonstrates state-of-the-art technologies and
techniques that can measure and monitor plastic waste in
urban and marine environments. The course is available as an
open-source knowledge product for anyone who wants to learn
more about taking measures to ensure clear waters for future
generations.

“The vision of ESCAP is to engage all
sectors, particularly academia and the scientific community,
to support the development of the science we need for the
oceans we want,” said Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, United
Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of
ESCAP. “Collaborate, starting with linking to the Closing
the Loop project. If you have a solution or technology to
prevent and manage plastic pollution, we want to talk to
you.”

Ensuring that the course considers multiple
vantage points, it has been co-developed with ten global
partners, including Women in Informal Employment:
Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO) and the Ocean
Conservancy. Closing the Loop also works with several
Japanese agencies including the Institute for Global Studies
(IGES) and is supported by the Government of Japan as part
of its effort to realize the Osaka Blue Ocean Vision. This
platform, developed at the G20 summit in Osaka in 2019, aims
to bring marine plastic litter to zero by
2050.

“Plastic marine litter is one of today’s most
serious emerging issues and without any countermeasures, the
amount of plastic waste in the ocean will outweigh fish by
2050, posing a threat to the environment and our way of
life,” said Kazuya Nashida, Ambassador of Japan in
Thailand. “It is said that the COVID-19 pandemic has
increased pollution from disposable products, such as
plastic face masks and hand sanitizer bottles. To counteract
this, we must work together to identify sources and pathways
to reduce the environmental impact of plastic
waste.”

The eLearning course content is focused on
Closing the Loop’s digital tool kit which is being
developed with partners using innovations like artificial
intelligence (AI), satellites, drones and machine learning
to measure and monitor plastic waste in urban waterways.
This technology can pinpoint the ‘source to sea’ movement of
how plastic leaks into the marine environment from cities
and help shape effective action plans to put an end to it
for good.

The toolkit includes a virtual map of
ocean-bound plastics using artificial intelligence, a
plastic pollution calculator that identifies plastic leakage
‘hotspots’ and a data platform to share knowledge. These
technologies can be adapted for different cities or
communities, and the aim is for these resources to be widely
used to track and reduce marine plastic waste. These tools
and the eLearning course have been developed with partners
like The International Solid Waste Association (ISWA),
Marine Litter Task Force, the University of Leeds, Plymouth
Marine Lab and Japan Space Systems.

Register for
eLearning here:

https://sdghelpdesk-elearning.unescap.org/thematicarea/detail?id=24

More
information about Closing the Loop: https://www.unescap.org/projects/ctl



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