Mobula 8 Expedition: The SeaCleaners in working session with South-East Asian ambassadors.
The departure of the Mobula 8 expedition to South-East Asia is coming soon. This autumn, the clean-up boat will be deployed in Indonesia to carry out its first clean-up campaigns in partnership with local associations, companies and communities. Within The SeaCleaners and the organisations on site, the final preparations are in full swing. A key step before departure is the meeting with the high authorities of the target countries: the ambassadors of Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Here is a report on these meetings.
This summer, The SeaCleaners’ teams met with high-level authorities in France from Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Thailand, for working discussions on the deployment of the Mobula 8 expedition. The outcome was a meaningful exchange with diplomatic representatives firmly committed to the fight against plastic pollution of the oceans and rivers and the preservation of their territories. These meetings were also an opportunity to salute the local networks of The SeaCleaners (institutions, NGOs, companies…) and to remind that the collaboration between local actors and international NGOs is essential.
First stop at the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in France where The SeaCleaners was received by the Ambassador, His Excellency Mr. Arrmanatha Christiawan Nasir. Indonesia has long been committed to the conservation of the coastline of its 13,466 islands. Although Indonesia is currently one of the countries most affected by plastic pollution, the objective of curbing this scourge is clear. The Indonesian government has committed to reducing marine plastic debris by 70% by 2025. The first mission of the Mobula 8 in Indonesia should be launched in Bali as part of the “0 Waste, 0 Emission” programme. In addition, the government plans to clean up the Citarum River, which is one of the most polluted in the world, through a 15-year action plan. The Mobula 8 is to be commissioned to participate in the collective effort to clean up the river, as well as the rivers on the island of Java and tributaries in Jakarta Bay.
In Sri Lanka, the Ministry of Environment has launched the Surakimu Ganga initiative, a national programme to preserve the country’s rivers from plastic pollution. The government is engaging all stakeholders, including the private sector, to contribute to this national effort. It is in this context that The SeaCleaners met with the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to France, Her Excellency Mrs. Kshanika Hirimburegama.
A river clean-up campaign with the Mobula 8 in Sri Lanka would not only allow for rapid action on the identified slicks, but would also raise awareness of the need to protect the country’s 103 rivers.
Discussions and scientific research are underway to establish an effective deployment strategy for the Mobula 8 by the end of the year.
Finally, we were received at the Royal Thai Embassy in France by the Ambassador, His Excellency Sarun Charoensuwan. Thailand has a very ambitious policy for the environmental protection of its territory: banning plastics in nature reserves and annual closures for regeneration of these protected parks. In Thailand, both the public and private sectors have expressed interest in the Mobula 8. To be continued!