The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is one with the Philippines and other United Nations (UN) countries in a push for a new global treaty on plastic pollution, which will be discussed at this year’s UN Environment Assembly or UNEA 5.2.
The Philippines is a co-sponsor of the Peru and Rwanda Resolution which proposes that UNEA establishes an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) with a mandate to prepare a new legally binding global agreement that would form part of international law.
At UNEA 5.2, happening this February 28 to March 4, 2022 to also coincide with the 10th anniversary of its creation and the 50th anniversary of the UN Environment Programme, UN Member States are expected to adopt a decision to start negotiations on a new treaty on plastic pollution. More than three-fourths of the UN membership publicly support the development of a new global agreement along with more than 2.1 million individuals, 25 financial institutions, and more than 60 companies globally.
WWF takes a stand that the creation of a new treaty on plastic pollution will be beneficial not only to the environment but also to the businesses involved in the cycle, by mainly standardizing compliance. The organization has long been conducting research and forwarding policies that could curb plastic pollution worldwide.
In the Philippines, WWF recently conducted its solid waste management baseline study in Philippine ports. They are also pushing for the implementation of the Extended Producers Responsibility Scheme to make an impact on the worsening plastic problem in the country.
WWF is also working closely with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and climate and environmental consultancy group Parabukas to discuss the needs and wants of the Philippines for a global treaty.
The groups agreed to support the enhancement of various local cities’ zero waste programs, which when implemented on a national level can be improved by a global treaty. Availability and investment into reusable alternative and reuse systems must also be taken into consideration.
“We would like to work with the global community on how to address the plastic problem as we know that plastic pollution is a transboundary and cross-sectoral problem that cannot be solved through national or regional initiatives alone. We hope that UNEA 5.2 and its member states join us and support the start of negotiations towards a global legally binding agreement on plastic pollution and come up with a lifecycle approach on plastics,” shared Mr. Albert Magalang, Chief of Climate Change Division from the Department of Natural Resources (DENR).
Additionally, WWF-Philippines’ National Youth Council is also encouraging the public, especially the youth, to participate in the country’s various efforts to move towards a sustainable green earth, free from plastic pollution, and more importantly, to support the new proposed treaty it co-sponsored for nature.
“We believe that it is not too late to take action and save our environment. Through this global treaty, we look forward to a united and swift action so that our future generations may live in a better and greener environment,” said Mr. Mirus Ponon, member of WWF-Philippines’ National Youth Council.
WWF Philippines Executive Director, Ms. Katherine Custodio remains optimistic that everyone’s efforts on pushing for the treaty will come to fruition, “It’s high time we demand a treaty for an issue that continues to be a growing problem for the world: plastic pollution. WWF, together with our partners, are united to bring to light a new global treaty to address this and improve our solutions for nature.”
To know more about WWF-Philippines and its initiatives, please visit https://wwf.org.ph/