A collaboration to end marine plastic pollution in Small Island Developing States
On World Oceans Day, we announced our partnership with the United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS). Together we will build and implement solutions towards eradicating marine plastic pollution in island member states under the Parley AIR Strategy (Avoid, Intercept, and Redesign).
The announcement was made on June 8, 2016, at “He Lei Holo Puni Honua,” a ceremonial presentation of declarations in Long Island City, New York. During the ceremony, the Polynesian voyaging canoe, Hōkūleʻa, crossed the East River from the UN Headquarters, symbolizing how the oceans connect us all — and how global unity is the way forward in safeguarding our future.
Parley founder Cyrill Gutsch joined United Nations leaders, including Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, President of the Republic of Palau His Excellency Tommy Remengesau, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the UN-OHRLLS Gyan Chandra Acharya, and members of the Polynesian Voyaging Society to announce a new alliance between Parley and the UN-OHRLLS. The goal of the partnership is to combat plastic pollution and invite all 38 S.I.D.S. nations to pledge and implement the Parley AIR Strategy.
“Small islands continue to count on the support of the international community, including the private sector, to ensure that the vast ocean spaces and rich marine resource for which they are custodians of remain healthy. Through this announcement we hope that when we meet in Fiji next year for the UN Conference on Oceans, some on-the-ground concrete action would already be showcased by SIDS thereby encouraging the global community to follow their lead.”
Mr. Gyan Chandra Acharya, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the UN-OHRLLS
We are all connected to the oceans. And we will all feel the impacts of a rapidly changing planet. Small Island Development States (S.I.D.S.) are no strangers to this reality; indeed they are the first to know. The signing of the Paris Climate Accord was a monumental step forward. Now more than ever before, we recognize the urgency of action. We have the responsibility and the opportunity to band together and reinvent our future.
World Oceans Day 2016 carried the theme “Healthy Oceans, Healthy Life.” Under the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, SDG goal 14 highlights the importance of protecting life below water in safeguarding the life above it — the people, economies, and future depending on the health and vitality of marine ecosystems. By uniting our efforts worldwide, we can tackle the global threat of plastic pollution and make peace with our oceans.
"Through this partnership, Parley aims to bring the unique challenges facing small island developing states to a global audience, alongside the most promising and crucial step towards solutions: collaboration. The Maldives and Grenada have already stepped up to the Parley AIR Pledge. With each country that joins the movement, we will work together to implement comprehensive strategies towards plastic-free oceans. In the process, we will protect not only the beauty of the oceans, but also the life and cultures they unite and support — now and for generations to come."
Through adoption of the Parley AIR principles — Avoid. Intercept. Redesign. — island nations can reduce the instances of plastic waste entering marine ecosystems and intercept existing pollution in the environment. These efforts will remove immediate threats to marine wildlife, protect livelihoods, empower communities, and present a unique opportunity to demonstrate on a global scale what’s possible when we work together. We can set a tone of unity and action ahead of the 2017 Oceans and Seas Conference to be held in Fiji.
The Maldives and Grenada have already pledged their commitment to adopt and implement Parley AIR to end marine plastic pollution.
Learn more about the the launch of Parley x Grenada during Blue Week, held by the Blue Growth Network in May 2016.