BALI, INDONESIA/WASHINGTON, D.C. – Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Ocean Conservancy has partnered with the government of the Republic of Indonesia, specifically the Ministry for Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) and the Provincial Government of Bali, for a flagship International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) event in Bali, highlighting Indonesia’s critical leadership role in the fight against ocean plastic just weeks ahead of the fifth annual Our Ocean Conference. Representatives from the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries; the Provincial Government of Bali; Ocean Conservancy; and hundreds of volunteers will meet at Padang Galak Beach on Saturday, September 15 to collect trash and log it into Ocean Conservancy’s Ocean Trash Index, the world’s largest database on marine debris. Thousands of cleanup events will be happening the same day around the world.
“MMAF is very appreciative of collaborations that encourage various stakeholders to take part in events that have real and direct impacts on our beaches and oceans through Gerakan Cinta Laut or Gita Laut program. On August 19, the Kegiatan Pandu Laut Nusantara and Aksi Menghadap Laut events were held at 19 locations in Indonesia, initiated by the Ministry working together with civil society organizations and local governments, attended by some 50,000 people, and collecting around 360 tons of waste. This event did not only collect marine waste; some locations also carried out mangrove planting, coral transplantation, salt harvesting, distribution of goggles to children, and the release of fish larvae and sea turtles,” explained Sapta Putra Ginting, Ph.D, Head of Sub-directorate for Restoration, Directorate of Coastal and Small Islands Utilization, Directorate General of Marine Spatial Management of MMAF. “Collaborations with organizations such as Ocean Conservancy support Indonesia’s efforts to sustainably manage its marine resources, especially in tackling the issue of ocean plastics.”
“At Ocean Conservancy we believe that a suite of solutions is needed to address the growing threat of ocean plastic, and that businesses, governments and individuals all have a role to play,” said Nicholas Mallos, director of Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas® Program. “Hosting the ICC in Indonesia—home to beautiful beaches and yet one of the countries most affected by marine debris—in partnership with the government and local, concerned citizens truly represents our multi-faceted approach.”
Launched in 1986 on a single beach in Texas, Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup has mobilized nearly 13 million volunteers and removed more than 113 million kilograms (250 million pounds) of trash from beaches and waterway worldwide. Last year alone, nearly 800,000 volunteers in more than 100 countries collected 9.3 million kilograms (20.5 million pounds) of trash, much of it plastic. In fact 2017 marked the first year in ICC history that all of the top-ten items collected by volunteers were made of plastic.
Every year, an estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic waste flow into the ocean, entangling wildlife, polluting beaches, and even infiltrating the food chain. Recognizing that cleanups alone will not stem the tide of ocean plastic, Ocean Conservancy has expanded its Trash Free Seas® program in recent years to include a range of international initiatives.
At the 2017 Our Ocean conference in Malta, Ocean Conservancy and its partners announced an initiative to raise $150 million to catalyze waste management improvements throughout Southeast Asia. Formally launched as Circulate Capital this year, the initiative is dedicated to incubating and financing innovations, companies, and infrastructure that prevent the flow of plastic waste into the world’s ocean while advancing the circular economy. Ocean Conservancy and Circulate Capital have partnered with SecondMuse, a global innovation agency working to build entrepreneurial ecosystems that help accelerate novel solutions to market. As part of this partnership SecondMuse recently launched the world’s first Ocean Plastic Prevention Incubator in Indonesia to develop the innovators and entrepreneurs that will help solve the ocean plastic problem.
Also in 2017, Ocean Conservancy joined the Indonesian government to announce the launch of the Alliance for Marine Plastic Solutions (AMPS), in partnership with the Trash Free Seas Alliance®, to bring together private sector companies with local governments and organizations to catalyze on-the-ground solutions and accelerate opportunity to scale up projects that work.
The Coca-Cola Foundation has supported Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup for more than 20 years. Each year Coca-Cola activates a global employee engagement campaign to encourage participation in the Cleanup. As part of its commitment to address global climate change, Bank of America has supported the Cleanup since 2002, with thousands of employees participating in Cleanup events all around the world. Other global sponsors include American Express, Breitling, The CVS Health Foundation, the Dow Chemical Company, the Forrest C. & Frances H. Lattner Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Pacific Life Foundation, Brunswick Public Foundation, Cox Enterprises, Inc., the Martin Foundation and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, Ltd.
Note to editors: Ocean Conservancy experts are available for comment.
Ocean Conservancy is working to protect the ocean from today’s greatest global challenges. Together with our partners, we create science-based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it. For more information, visit oceanconservancy.org, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.