The Mirpuri Foundation was invited to be a speaker at the United Nations Ocean Conference, in a Clean Seas supported side event entitled “Racing for Clean Seas: Sport as a game-changer in promoting ocean health and accelerating the implementation of SDG 14”, taking place on the 28th of June at the Main Committee Room in Altice Arena.

The side event at the UN Ocean Conference brings together Clean Seas partners to discuss the critical role partnerships have played in the campaign’s mission to raise public awareness in acting against marine litter and encouraging governments across the globe to implement policies and initiatives strategically focused on plastic pollution prevention.

Through a unified voice and shared values in the mission of the Clean Seas Campaign, this event provides a platform for Clean Seas partners to discuss the different ways in which they are inspiring change, encouraging good business practices, and transforming individual behaviors to scale up ocean action, science, and innovation to end plastic pollution, through the power of sport.

This side event serves as an opportunity to highlight the unique platform sport provides in amplifying the message of the need for environmental action and outlines the reasons why and how governmental agencies should work with sport organizations to build capacity and knowledge around the negative impact of the plastic lifecycle and its effects on our waterways.

The panel will discuss the different ways in which they are engaging their local communities to devise innovative solutions to improve community efforts and citizen science around marine pollution as well as the role partnerships play in creating global action and inspiring new policy and legislative changes from governmental institutions. 

Joining Ana Agostinho, Mirpuri Foundation’s Managing Director, the panel will see comments by Nicole LeBoeuf (Assistant Administrator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Ocean Service), Marijana Mance (Policy Officer from the European Commission Directorate-General of Environment), Mohammed bin Mubarak bin Dainah (Minister of Oil and the Environment of Bahrain), Heidi Savelli-Soderberg (Programme Officer of Marine Litter and Plastic Pollution, UN Environment Programme), Hannah Mills (International Olympic Committee Ambassador and Founder of the Big Plastic Pledge), Theresa Zabell (Founder of Fundación Ecomar), Toby Gregory (Founder and Project Director of the Arabian Ocean Rowing Team), and Raimundo Tamagnini (Member of the Arabian Ocean Rowing Team).

The event will also announce new members joining the Clean Seas campaign. Key representatives from the United States, the European Commission, and Bahrain will share and reflect on their voluntary commitments to “turn the tide” on marine litter and plastic pollution, highlight their success stories in this focus area, and consider actionable steps forward in the context of the Ocean Decade and the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) process. In joining UNEP, the IOC, and Clean Seas partners, Clean Seas members will have the opportunity to further comment on the importance for collaboration between the public and private sectors and the ways in which sport can create a unique opportunity and platform to encourage new policies and initiatives to combat plastic pollution at the government, industry, and civil society levels.

More about the Clean Seas Campaign:

In February 2017, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) launched the Clean Seas campaign through a broad-based, global, public-facing effort to win meaningful action from governments, industry, and civil society. With the goal of tackling the global issue of plastic waste entering our world’s lakes, waterways, and oceans, the campaign has become a catalyst for change, transforming habits, practices, standards, and policies. 

Almost 70 Member States, having joined the campaign, have made significant commitments to prevent and reduce marine litter and plastic pollution entering marine environments. Furthermore, the Clean Seas campaign is linked to the New Plastics Global Commitment which is being led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, in collaboration with the UN Environment Programme. Through the Global Commitment, businesses and governments commit to changing how we produce, use, and reuse plastic and work to eliminate the plastic items we don’t need; innovate so all plastic we do need is designed to be safely reused, recycled, or composted; and circulate everything we use to keep it in the economy and out of the environment. The Global Commitment has already mobilised over 500 signatories that are determined to start building a circular economy for plastic.

In response to the passing of the 14 resolutions at the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA 5.2) in February 2022, and specifically the resolution focused on ending plastic pollution, the Clean Seas campaign aims to support the full adoption and implementation of these resolutions, in addition to developing a globally legally binding treaty to end plastic pollution ahead of the Sixth United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-6).