The Norwegian Embassy and the Sustainable Seas Trust (SST) has formally announced a four-year partnership from 2019 to 2023 dedicated towards achieving zero plastics to the seas of Africa.
SST presented a new major initiative to fight marine waste, a programme called Towards Zero Plastics to the Seas of Africa which is aligned to 15 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set out by the United Nations.
“The essence of zero plastics to the sea is to stop waste from going into the environment on land because only then will we stop it from going into sea. Much of the work of the Sustainable Seas Trust is going to be working with the municipalities, business, civil society, universities and schools – on land- so that we can make sure that zero plastics go to the sea,” said Dr Tony Ribbink, Chief Executive Officer of the Sustainable Seas Trust.
Norway has confirmed core funding for the implementation of SST’s Towards Zero Plastics to the Seas of Africa programme envisioned to have a huge impact that will positively benefit Africa. This is the second partnership between SST and the Norwegian government, the first which began in 2018 in a feasibility study that proved to be successful.
“We are now working on a common objective to identify, measure and carry out programmes that are effectively delivering results. We are really thankful for the cooperation that we have between Norway and Sustainable Seas Trust. We really value the work that is done both because it is such a comprehensive partnership and because of the enthusiasm and energy that Sustainable Seas Trust brings into this work,” said the Ambassador of Norway H.E. Ms Astrid E. Helle.
“The expectations are that we will be able to grow this programme in a number of countries (South Africa, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles and Tanzania), and actually achieve significant progress towards zero plastics to the seas of Africa in those initial countries and then at a later stage, in new phases to take it further into Africa,” Ribbink said.
“Sustainable Seas Trust is extremely proud to be working with Norway as the country has taken a leadership role in caring for the oceans and the environment in general. We are grateful to the Ambassador of Norway and her staff for their dedicated commitment and efforts.” Ribbink continued.
Representation at the seminar included Argentina, Canada, Cote d’lvore, Gambia, Japan, Mauritius, Mexico, Norway, Nigeria, Russia, Senegal, Indonesia, Sweden, Tunisia, United Kingdom, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Department of Environment Forestry, Department of Science and Innovation, National Research Foundation (NRF) and African Union (NEPAD).