The African Marine Waste Network (AMWN) was launched July 2016 for the 38 coastal and island states of Africa: It is the first Network of its kind to focus on preventing marine pollution in Africa.
Kristian Teleki ('The Prince of Wales's International Sustainability Unit) was the Keynote Speaker at the launch of the Network (left) and the Nelson Mandela University choir performed at the launch (right).
The Network will provide an active platform for collaboration, resource and knowledge sharing within countries and across borders in Africa, and to find solutions to Africa’s marine waste problem that cater to African circumstances and cultures. This is an African contribution to solving a global crisis.
The Network is multidisciplinary and open to all those involved in marine and pollution contexts, be it NGO’s, academics and researchers, students, educators, centres of learning, governments and policy-makers, and members of industry and tourism. The Network aligns with the ethos of the United Nations Environment and Sustainable Development Goal 14, the Global Ocean Commission and the Global Partnership on Marine Litter.
The inaugural African Marine Waste Conference 2017 was the first meeting point for the Network, where delegates defined the future direction of the Network as well as collaborated on developing the “Marine Waste Strategy: Guide to Action for Africa”, a strategy plan for tackling and alleviating Africa’s waste problems.
In his message to the 5th International Marine Debris Conference, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme Mr. Achim Steiner said:
“Marine debris – trash in our oceans – is a symptom of our throw-away society and our approach to how we use our natural resources. It affects every country and every ocean, and shows us in highly visible terms the urgency of shifting towards a low carbon, resource efficient Green Economy… However, one community or one country acting in isolation will not be the answer. We need to address marine debris collectively across national boundaries and with the private sector, which has a critical role to play both in reducing the kinds of wastes that can end up in the world’s oceans, and through research into new materials. It is by bringing all these players together that we can truly make a difference”..
Management and Advisory Panel
The implementing agency for the AMWN is The Sustainable Seas Trust (SST). The fiduciary and legal responsibilities for the African Marine Waste Network reside with the trustees of SST who are also responsible for ensuring compliance with the legal, financial and ethics of all contracts undertaken by the African Marine Waste Network are met.
SST is guided by an Advisory Panel drawn from stakeholders whose expertise enables them to provide technical, educational, capacity building, political and economic guidance. These include representation from the Abidjan Convention, Nairobi Convention, Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association, UNEP, members of the plastics industry, academia (researchers and teachers), governments, NGOs, researchers, tourism experts and educators. The Advisory Panel may also provide expert guidance to trustees.
Operation of the Network is undertaken by communicators, researchers, educators and managers within Africa. The operational hub for the African Marine Waste Network is at Kenton on Sea, South Africa, but the center of activities will shortly be moved to Port Elizabeth.
Members, sponsors and partners of the Network: click here to join