United Nations
Partnership Dialogue 1 - Addressing marine pollution

Introduction

Pollution from human activities can be found at all points across the ocean’s vast expanse, whether in the deep, at the surface, or in the organisms that live in it. Rivers carry waste, solid and liquid, and a wide range of other substances into the ocean. Discharges, spills and waste from shipping are another source of pollution. Pollutants discharged into the air are deposited into the ocean. Although considerable progress has been achieved in limiting some forms of pollution, others persist. New challenges, whether relating to particular pollutants, such as micro-plastics, or broader trends, like the rapid growth of coastal cities, will require sustained action encompassing scientific research, knowledge-sharing, and strengthened governance arrangements.

Co-chairs

  • H.E. Mr. Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs, Indonesia
  • H.E. Mr. Vidar Helgesen, Minister of Climate, Norway

Moderator

  • Mr. Elliott Harris, Director of New York Office, UN Environment

Panellists

  • Ms. Nancy Wallace, Director, Marine Debris Program, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, US Department of Commerce
  • Mr. Kosi Latu, Director-General, Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP)
  • Mr. Peter Kershaw, Chair of the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environment (GESAMP)
  • Ms. Sybil Seitzinger, Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, School of Environmental Studies, University of Victoria, Canada

Registered List of Participants

States

First preference (speaking slot guaranteed)

  • Marshall Islands (HS)
  • Micronesia (Federated States of) (HS)
  • Belgium (DPM)
  • Cyprus (M)
  • European Union (M)
  • Ireland (M)
  • Jamaica (M)
  • Maldives (M)
  • Netherlands (M)
  • Panama (M)
  • Romania (M)
  • Italy (VM)
  • Algeria (CD)
  • China (CD)
  • Honduras (CD)
  • Indonesia (CD)
  • Israel (CD)
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (CD)
  • Turkey (CD)
  • United Kingdom (CD)
  • Peru (TBD)

Second preference (possible speaking slot)

  • Egypt (M)
  • Grenada (M)
  • Thailand (M)
  • Colombia (CD)
  • Norway (CD)
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis (CD)

Other participants and observers

  • Commission for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic
  • International Maritime Organization
  • United Nations Office for Project Services
  • United Nations Environment Programme
  • Stiftelsen Stockholm International Water Institute
  • The Ocean Cleanup
  • World Animal Protection
Biographies (alphabetical order)
Mr. Kosi Latu
Director-General, Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP)
Mr. Kosi Latu

Director-General, Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP)

Mr. Kosi Latu was appointed the Director General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) at the 26th SPREP Meeting in September 2015, officially taking up the position in January 2016. With 26 Member nations on board, SPREP has the vital task of coordinating Members' activities at the regional level in order to manage and protect their environment within the context of sustainable development. Prior to his new position Mr. Latu was the Deputy Director General since 2008.

Before joining SPREP Mr. Latu was the Manager of the UNOPS Financial Compliance Programme based at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat in Suva, Fiji from 2006 to 2008. Mr. Latu also worked for the Commonwealth Secretariat in London, the United Kingdom for 11 years where he was the Deputy Director for the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Division from 1995 to 2001, and Special Legal Adviser and Head of the Legal and Economic Division from 2001 until 2006.

Mr. Latu started his career as a state prosecutor with the Attorney General's Office for the Government of Samoa from 1990 until 1995. Mr. Latu's area of expertise and experience are in international environmental law, law of the sea and financial compliance. He is a graduate of Canterbury University in New Zealand.

SPREP is the Premier Pacific Regional Intergovernmental Organisation for the Environment established in 1991 and with 26 Member Governments, based in Samoa. Its key priority areas are: Biodiversity and Ecosystem Management; Climate Change; Environmental Monitoring and Governance; and Waste Management and Pollution Control.

Mr. Peter Kershaw
Chair of the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environment (GESAMP)
Mr. Peter Kershaw

Chair of the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environment (GESAMP)

Peter Kershaw is a marine scientist based in the UK, with 34 years research experience, based, until 2014, in a Government-funded research laboratory (Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science), on many different aspects of marine environmental protection. This involved contributing to, and leading, multi-disciplinary research projects on the impacts of human activities on the ocean, usually with European or wider international collaborators. Topics have include the transport, fate and effects of radionuclides, metals, nutrients, organic contaminants and plastic litter; the impact of offshore activities such as fisheries and windfarm development; and an interest in socio-ecological systems for the sustainable management human activities.

Peter became involved with GESAMP (Joint Group of Experts on Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection) in 2008, and has been Chair since 2013. He has been co-Chair of Working Group 40 (Sources, fate and effects of microplastics in the marine environment – a global assessment) since 2012. He currently splits his time between GESAMP and working as an independent consultant.

Ms. Nancy Wallace
Director, Marine Debris Program, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, US Department of Commerce
Ms. Nancy Wallace

Director, Marine Debris Program, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, US Department of Commerce

Nancy Wallace is the Director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Marine Debris Program. The Marine Debris Program is the federal lead for researching, preventing, and reducing the impacts of marine debris in the United States. Nancy is currently the Chair of the United Nation’s Global Partnership on Marine Litter and the Co-Chair of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Marine Debris Workgroup. Nancy has worked on ocean policy related issues for the past 15 years. Her work includes resource conservation with the National Park Service, developing sustainable catch limits for U.S. fisheries and efforts to improve water quality in the Gulf of Mexico.

Ms. Sybil Seitzinger
Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, School of Environmental Studies, University of Victoria, Canada
Ms. Sybil Seitzinger

Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, School of Environmental Studies, University of Victoria, Canada

Dr. Sybil Seitzinger is the Executive Director of the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS), and Professor in the School of Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria. The Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions is a dynamic knowledge network that brings together leading researchers from British Columbia and around the world to study the impacts of climate change and to develop positive approaches to mitigation and adaptation.

Dr. Seitzinger joins PICS from her position as executive director of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) based in Stockholm, Sweden. Prior to that, she was director of the Rutgers/NOAA Cooperative Marine Education and Research Program and visiting professor at Rutgers University in the US. She served as president of the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography from 2006-2010.

Dr. Seitzinger’s work at the IGBP involved facilitating and integrating the work of scientists and researchers across Africa, the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Europe on global environmental change. As a pioneering scientist, her work at Rutgers centred on land-atmosphere-ocean biogeochemistry, with a focus on changes in the global nitrogen cycle and how humans are affecting it.

Dr. Seitzinger holds a PhD in biological oceanography from the University of Rhode Island, is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has been awarded an honorary PhD from Utrecht University in the Netherlands. She is highly cited, with more than 130 peer-reviewed publications to her credit.

Vidar Helgesen
Minister of Climate and Environment, Norway
Vidar Helgesen

Minister of Climate and Environment, Norway

Vidar Helgesen was born in Bodø in the North of Norway, on 21 November 1968, and grew up at Nøtterøy in the County of Vestfold. Helgesen holds the Cand. Jur. Degree from the University of Oslo in 1998.

Helgesen served as state secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 2001-2005, under Kjell Magne Bondevik's Second Government.

Helgesen was a special adviser at the International Red Cross in Geneva 1998–2001. He was secretary-general of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), in Stockholm from 2006 until he was appointed minister by Prime Minister Erna Solberg in 2013.

Helgesen held the position as minister of EEA and EU Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Chief of Staff at the Office of the Prime Minister from 16.10.2013 to 16.12.2015, when he was appointed as Minister of Climate and Environment.

Statements
Statements
Presentations
Statements
Belgium
Cyprus
European Union
Helcom
International Maritime Organization (IMO)
Marshall Islands
Panama
Romania
Presentations
Mr. Kosi Latu, Director-General, Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP)
Mr. Peter Kershaw, Chair of the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environment (GESAMP)
Ms. Nancy Wallace, Director, Marine Debris Program, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, US Department of Commerce
Ms. Sybil Seitzinger, Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, School of Environmental Studies, University of Victoria, Canada
United Nations