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United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP, established in 1972, is the voice for the environment within the United Nations system. UNEP acts as a catalyst, advocate, educator and facilitator to promote the wise use and sustainable development of the global environment.

"Marine litter currently poses a dire, vast and growing threat to the marine and coastal environment. Most marine litter consists of material that degrades slowly, if at all, so a continuous input of large quantities of these items results in a gradual build-up in the marine and coastal environment.  In response, the United Nations Environment Programme launched The Global Partnership on Marine Litter at a side-event in Rio on 18 June 2012, and we are proud to have the Plastic Disclosure Project amongst our international partners.  We actively support the PDP's efforts in asking organisations to measure, disclose, and manage their "plastic footprint", and thus reduce the impact of plastic on our environment, wellbeing and our economy."

"The Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities (GPA) is an intergovernmental mechanism, adopted in Washington in 1995, that aims to protect the coastal and marine environment from land-based activities. The GPA aims to reduce the amount of land-based litter and solid waste introduced into the marine environment. The GPA Coordination Office, hosted by UNEP, has focused its future work on the Manila Declaration of January 2012, which recognizes that marine litter is a problem, is global in scale and underestimated in impact. The Manila Declaration also recognizes that marine litter directly threatens coastal and marine habitats and species, economic growth, human health and safety, and societal values and that a significant portion of marine litter originates from land- based activities. The GPA Coordination Office therefore encourages partners to take action and we encourage all stakeholders to understand, prevent, reduce, and manage marine debris in their communities and to find innovative solutions and initiatives to address the marine litter problem. These include sharing best practices and technical information and the establishment of a global partnership on marine litter. The partnership would facilitate international coordination.

We are seeking to mobilize and allocate resources towards addressing the negative impacts of plastics on the marine environment and will focus on the plastics industry and identification and implementation of mutually acceptable targets for reduction in plastics pollution. We welcome this initiative and fully intend to collaborate in its successful implementation." 

~Vincent Sweeney : Coordinator, Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land Based Activities (GPA), Division of Environmental Policy Implementation (DEPI) 

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