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Policy and Action on Plastic in the Arctic Ocean Workshop

On October 30-31, NOAA Marine Debris Program staff attended the Policy and Action on Plastic in the Arctic Ocean Workshop, co-hosted by The Harvard Kennedy School, The Wilson Center Polar Institute & the Icelandic Chairmanship of the Arctic Council. 

Large group sitting at tables arranged in a square.
Group photo of participants at the Arctic Plastic Pollution Workshop. Image credit: Benn Craig, Belfer Center Communications. (Rights reserved.) 

The purpose of the workshop was to explore the status of marine litter in the Arctic, identifying common practices and areas of shared understanding, as well as knowledge gaps and challenges.  These observations will be used to inform multiple products and actions, including:

  • Icelandic Chairmanship of Arctic Council (2019-2021) where they have identified marine litter as a priority topic.
  • Symposium on Plastics in the Arctic and Sub-Arctic Region, to be hosted by Iceland in April, 2020
  • Arctic Regional Action Plan (RAP) on Marine Litter which is being led by the Arctic Council - Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME) working group

Nancy Wallace presented on MDP’s actions and observations from Arctic efforts to date, as well as overall marine debris challenges and opportunities. The MDP will continue to participate in expert groups for Arctic Regional Action Plan (PAME) and Monitoring Guidelines (AMAP), and will also follow-up with individual partners on potential collaboration and information sharing opportunities.

For more information, please contact Peter.Murphy@noaa.gov.

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