The 28th SPREP Meeting was held in Apia, Samoa from the 19th to 21st of September 2017. Following the ICRI recommendation to reduce plastic microbeads pollution in marine environment adopted during the 31st General Meeting (November 2016), and a proposal from the French Government, a Call for Action for SPREP Countries on Plastic Microbeads was adopted.
Call for Action for SPREP Countries on Plastic Microbeads
We, the representatives of Pacific States, meeting in Apia from 19th to 21st of September 2017 at the 28th SPREP meeting of officials, recognize that the presence of plastic microbeads in our oceans represent an issue of global concern that needs a global response.
We recognize that they contribute to the increasing flow of plastic into our oceans and have negative impacts on marine species and habitats, especially coral reef and associated ecosystems.
We recall resolution 11 on marine plastic litter and micro plastics and resolution 12 on sustainable coral reefs management by the second session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (May 2016); and the Recommendation to reduce plastic microbeads pollution in marine environment adopted during the 31st International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) General Meeting (November 2016).
We also recall the Communique of the governments of Pacific Islands countries at the 48h Pacific Islands Forum on the 8th of September 2017, especially paragraph 9.
We are convinced that the use of plastic microbeads could be easily avoided, as natural alternatives do exist and are easily available.
We therefore affirm our will to fight against this source of pollution in marine environment.
We commit to take measures to ban the use of plastic microbeads in our countries.
We also commit to advocate with other States for such bans.
We resolve to promote exchanges of expertise, best practices and lessons.
In addtion, in the light of the predicted adverse impacts of warming oceans on coral reefs, the long-term health of Pacific reefs depends on strong leadership and sound management. New actions and tools to support reef resilience were presented during the SPREP Meeting in a special event. This event was supported by France, as part of its contributions to improving management of coral reefs and coastal and marine environments, globally and in the Pacific. Jean-Luc Fauré-Tournaire, Deputy Permanent Representative to SPREP and SPC, presented and promoted the work of ICRI, also announcing the ICRI 2018 International Year of the Reef (IYOR).