East Asia is a hotspot for the leakage of plastic waste to the oceans. Most of the largest-contributing countries lie within the region. While there is growing policy and public attention being devoted to the topic, substantial gaps in knowledge remain. While countries and local government in the region have often been early innovators in plastic waste management, there also remain gaps in capacity needs and development.
With this in mind, the ASEAN-Norwegian cooperation project on local capacity building for reducing plastic pollution in the ASEAN region (ASEANO) has been created to help close these gaps. Through a multidisciplinary, cross-sectoral, and holistic approach the project will research and develop targeted and cost-efficient measures to reduce plastic waste and reduce waste leakage. It will also serve to develop a strong network including industries and businesses, governmental bodies, NGOs, academe, and other stakeholders.
The project was launched in December 2019. PEMSEA is serving as the implementing agency for the Philippine component of the ASEANO project. The inception workshop for the Philippine component was held in March 2020.
The Inception Workshop held on 5th March brought together stakeholders and interested parties with the dual aims of introducing these parties to the project and providing an opportunity for the project team to ask questions of these individuals. Local inputs and recommendations were sought on a number of different topics, and these inputs will be used to guide the project going forwards.
ASEAN in cooperation with Norway in the Norwegian-ASEAN Regional Integration Programme – NARIP officially launched the ASEAN-Norwegian Cooperation Project on Local Capacity Building for Reducing Plastic Pollution in the ASEAN Region (ASEANO) on 9 December 2019. ASEANO is a 3-year programs focusing on the capacity and knowledge development in tackling plastic pollution from the main sources in ASEAN Region, with Indonesia (the Citarum river) and Philippine as the first case studies. Core objectives includes illuminating driving forces behind plastic pollution and evaluate the implications of plastic pollution for economy, development, environment, and human well-being, with focus on local municipality/city level sustainability.
As part of ASEANO project implementation, we will conduct a Research Grant Competition on 11 December 2020 - 31 May 2021. The research grant competition is an initiative undertaken by ASEANO Project to foster institutional learning knowledge and advancing expertise related to marine plastic pollution across the ASEAN region. The research grant competition is a regional competition jointly organized by the Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS) and Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA) to give opportunity for young researchers and PhD students of the 10 ASEAN Member States (AMS) and take part in leading social transformation within ASEAN region. Through a research competition, this joint-initiative encourages ASEAN young researchers and PhD students in all 10 AMS to highlight the key environmental issues in ASEAN especially related to the plastic pollution. ASEANO project will fund the best research on environmental studies, surveys, and case studies related to the identified focus area both on natural-science research (river monitoring analysis) and on socio-economic research. The research findings submitted by the participants will be brought as policy recommendation in ASEAN Countries.