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INC4 Meeting in Ottawa: The Challenges of Progress Towards a Global Plastic Treaty

How To Protect The Ocean

Release Date: 04/22/2024

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Tune in to this episode of the How to Protect the Ocean podcast to hear from Anthony Marente, the senior campaigner for Oceanic Canada, discussing the upcoming INC4 meeting in Ottawa as part of the UN Global Plastic Treaty. Discover the history of the treaty, previous meetings, and the expectations for this crucial gathering. Learn about the global efforts to combat plastic pollution and what we can do to protect our oceans.

Ocean Canada: https://oceana.ca/en/our-campaigns/plastics/

Follow a career in conservation: https://www.conservation-careers.com/online-training/ Use the code SUFB to get 33% off courses and the careers program.
 
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Plastic pollution is a global issue with significant impacts on human health and the environment. The episode transcript sheds light on the widespread presence of plastic pollution in various ecosystems worldwide, from beaches to rivers to forests. The harmful effects of plastic pollution extend beyond the physical environment to human health.

The episode discusses how plastic pollution has resulted in the presence of microplastics in the air, water, and even in human bloodstreams. These microplastics contain chemicals linked to health issues such as cancers, respiratory illnesses, hormone disruption, and fertility impacts. The presence of these harmful substances poses a significant risk to human populations, especially those living near petrochemical plants and waste disposal sites.

Moreover, the episode underscores the connection between plastic pollution and human health by highlighting the transmission of microplastics from pregnant mothers to unborn children. This transmission through the placenta can have long-term implications for future generations' health, emphasizing the need to address plastic pollution as a public health concern.

The episode also addresses the disproportionate impact of plastic pollution on marginalized communities, such as Indigenous populations and residents of low-income areas. These communities often face elevated health risks due to plastic waste mismanagement, leading to higher cancer rates, respiratory issues, and other disparities. This highlights the importance of environmental justice and equitable solutions to address the health impacts of plastic pollution.

In conclusion, the episode stresses the urgent need for global action to combat plastic pollution, safeguarding both the environment and human health. By addressing the root causes of plastic pollution, implementing upstream measures, and promoting sustainable waste management practices, countries can work towards mitigating the health risks associated with plastic pollution and creating a healthier, more sustainable future for all.

The upcoming INC4 meeting in Ottawa is crucial for advancing the Global Plastic Treaty, part of the United Nations' efforts to tackle plastic pollution globally. The treaty aims to create a legally binding instrument involving all nations to end plastic pollution, particularly in the marine environment. Previous INC meetings have laid the groundwork for this treaty, with discussions focusing on ambitious measures like bans, prohibitions, and phase-outs of plastics.

However, the INC3 meeting in Kenya faced challenges in negotiations due to low ambition countries heavily reliant on oil and gas industries, such as Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. These countries hindered progress by introducing obstacles in the negotiation process.

The INC4 meeting in Ottawa presents an opportunity to overcome these challenges and move towards a final, legally binding international treaty to address plastic pollution. The meeting will bring together representatives from various countries, environmental NGOs, health organizations, and industry stakeholders to negotiate the terms of the treaty. It is crucial for high ambition countries to maintain their stance and advocate for impactful measures to address plastic pollution.

As a senior campaigner for Oceania Canada, Anthony Marente's role at the INC4 meeting will be to publicize the government's stance on plastic pollution and advocate for high ambition measures. He will collaborate with civil society groups, meet with government officials, and provide resources to support informed decision-making. The meeting in Ottawa serves as a platform for global collaboration and action to address the urgent issue of plastic pollution and protect both the environment and human health.

Collaboration between governments, NGOs, and civil society is crucial for effective action against plastic pollution. In the podcast episode, Anthony Marente, the senior campaigner for Oceanic Canada, emphasizes the importance of various stakeholders coming together to address the global plastic pollution crisis.

  1. Government Involvement: Governments play a significant role in setting regulations and policies to combat plastic pollution. They have the power to implement bans, prohibitions, and phase-outs of single-use plastics. Collaboration with NGOs and civil society is crucial to push for more ambitious measures, especially when conflicting interests arise due to ties to the oil and gas industry.

  2. NGO Participation: NGOs like Environmental Defense Canada, David Suzuki Foundation, and Ecojustice Canada have expanded their focus to address the human health impacts of plastic pollution. These organizations bring valuable resources, research, and expertise to inform decision-making processes.

  3. Civil Society Engagement: Civil society, including indigenous communities, healthcare workers, waste management experts, and concerned citizens, play a vital role in combating plastic pollution. Their diverse perspectives and grassroots knowledge ensure that policies are inclusive and equitable.

  4. Global Collaboration: The international nature of the plastic pollution problem requires global collaboration. International meetings like the INC4 in Ottawa provide a platform for countries to share knowledge and work towards reducing plastic pollution.

  5. Resource Sharing: Collaboration allows for the sharing of resources, information, and best practices. NGOs can provide governments with data on the health impacts of plastic pollution, successful case studies of waste management initiatives, and innovative solutions for reducing plastic usage. Civil society can offer insights into community needs and environmental justice issues.

In conclusion, collaboration between governments, NGOs, and civil society is essential for developing comprehensive strategies to tackle plastic pollution effectively. By working together, sharing resources, and leveraging their strengths, these stakeholders can drive meaningful change and create a more sustainable future for the planet.