A Voice for Our Ocean

MEDIA ADVISORY: State Department, Ocean Conservancy and APEC Chile Launching “Clean City and Ocean Initiative” to Tackle Ocean Plastic Pollution

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Santiago, Chile—On Tuesday, July 2, representatives from the U.S. Department of State, Ocean Conservancy, and APEC Chile will gather for a day of presentations and workshops to formally launch the “Clean City and Ocean Initiative” under the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) framework. The project aims to connect  city and municipal leaders to technical and financial resources to prevent and reduce marine debris.  The project will partner with officials from Santiago and San Antonio to develop guidelines and recommendations for practical and effective measures that can be applied by APEC cities to prevent waste from entering the ocean and reduce ocean plastic pollution.

During the event, Dr. Jenna Jambeck, a world-renowned expert in marine debris and sustainable waste management, will present the Circularity Assessment Protocol, a new methodology that will be deployed in Santiago and San Antonio to assess plastic waste leakage. The methodology evaluates solid waste and plastic management needs through a social lens, assessing peoples’ behaviors to better inform policy development and interventions.

“Marine debris – including plastics – is an issue of global concern, and a high priority for the United States.  Marine plastic pollution, mostly mismanaged waste from land, costs APEC economies, including the United States and Chile, billions of dollars every year in key industries like tourism and fisheries.  The United States, Chile, and other APEC economies, by working together, can develop innovative solutions to increase capacity for sustainable waste management and reduce marine debris,” said Colin Seals, Environment Officer at the U.S. Embassy Santiago.

“We are very excited to begin work in Santiago and San Antonio as we move forward with our newly launched partnership with APEC Chile,” said Luis Estévez-Salmerón, Senior Manager of International Government Relations at Ocean Conservancy. In May, Ocean Conservancy and APEC Chile announced a formal partnership to put ocean plastic pollution on the APEC agenda through 2019. “This project will help local officials develop the tools they need to make informed decisions on how to prevent plastics from entering the ocean while also addressing challenges like economic development and climate change. We hope that the lessons learned from Chile will help other APEC economies tackle the problem.”

“This initiative is part of our larger effort to prioritize sustainable growth, through which our economy seeks to promote the protection of the ocean from pollutants such as plastic,” said Krasna Bobenrieth, Policy Director of APEC Chile. “Chile supports, among other measures, exchanges of best practices among member economies to prevent contaminants from reaching the ocean. The development of this project in Chile also represents a great opportunity to evaluate how we are advancing in recycling and learning from the world expert on these issues, Dr. Jenna Jambeck, on how to improve.”

Note to media: Please contact Kristin Haworth at [email protected] if interested in attending this event.

WHO: ·         Dr. Luis Estévez-Salmerón, Senior Manager, International Government Relations, Ocean Conservancy

·         Dr. Jenna Jambeck, University of Georgia

·         Jessica Hernández, 100 Resilient Cities

WHAT: Launch of the APEC “Clean City and Ocean Initiative”
WHEN: Tuesday, July 2, 2019 from 9:15am – 4:20pm
WHERE: American Academy of Science and Technology

University of Talca, Santiago Campus, Quebec 415, Providencia – Santiago, Chile

CONTACT: Jordana Merran, Ocean Conservancy
[email protected]

Roberto Parra, APEC Chile
[email protected]

Kristin Haworth, U.S. Embassy Santiago
[email protected]


About the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Embassy in Santiago

The U.S. Department of State leads America’s foreign policy through diplomacy, advocacy, and assistance by advancing the interests of the American people, their safety and economic prosperity.

U.S. Embassy Santiago, proudly representing the American people, works to strengthen democracy, promote economic opportunity, and further the security and prosperity of the United States. We facilitate rapidly growing commercial relations between our two nations, engage Chile’s leaders and people to promote United States views and policies, and provide assistance to Americans visiting Chile for business, tourism, research, and study. For more information, visit, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

About Ocean Conservancy

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, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

About Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas® Program

Ocean Conservancy has led the fight for a clean, trash-free ocean since 1986, when the organization launched its first annual International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) on a beach in Texas. Since then, the ICC has expanded to over 150 countries and has mobilized millions of volunteers to remove more than 300 million pounds of trash from beaches and waterways around the globe, all the while logging each item and building the world’s largest database on marine debris.

Recognizing that cleanups alone will not solve the growing ocean plastic crisis, Ocean Conservancy has leveraged that data and invested in additional science to better understand the sources of ocean plastic. In 2012, Ocean Conservancy launched the Trash Free Seas Alliance®, uniting conservationists, scientists and members of the private sector to work together for pragmatic, impactful solutions to the problem, such as the launch of Circulate Capital and Urban Ocean. In 2019, Ocean Conservancy assumed leadership of the Global Ghost Gear Initiative to reduce the amount of lost and abandoned fishing gear entering the ocean and engage fishers on best practices. Learn more at

About APEC Chile 2019 

For the second time since it became a member of APEC, Chile is the host of the forum in 2019 (the first time was in 2004). We expect that more than fifteen thousand people will participate in the estimated 200 meetings which are taking place in different regions of the country and include meetings of ministers and senior officials and working groups and workshops with the private sector and academy. It will finish with the Leaders’ Summit and different activities involved with hosting APEC. Up until May, there has been three Senior Officials Meetings, more than 120 working group meetings and workshops, around 10 public seminars known as ‘APEC Ciudadano’, and the meeting of Ministers Responsible for Trade.

APEC Chile 2019 takes place under the theme of ‘Connecting People, Building the Future’, and the priorities for Chile are: Digital Society, Integration 4.0, Women, SMEs and Inclusive Growth, and Sustainable Growth.

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