Malibu, California, April 21, 2024, On behalf of Plastic Oceans International (POI), Mark Minneboo, Director of Advocacy, presented and signed a declaration at the recent Pacific Leaders’ Summit held on Easter Island (Rapa Nui), Chile for an urgent call to action by the global community to address plastic pollution issues faced by Pacific Island nations and coastal communities. 

The United Nations co-organized the April 3-5 Pacific Leaders Summit. Around 100 experts and leaders from nations bordering the Pacific Ocean attended the summit along with 200 Rapa Nui residents.

Key attendees at the Pacific Leaders’ Summit were:

  • Luis Vayas Valdivieso, chair of the INC.
  • Gonzalo Muñoz, COP high-level climate action champion.
  • Elizabeth Hogan, director of Science and Innovation programs for the National Geographic Society.
  • Giorgiana Braga Orillard, United Nations Development Program Resident Representative in Chile.
  • Nisha Bakker, partnership director of the Ocean Cleanup.
  • Capt. Charles Moore, founder of the Moore Institute.
  • Melisa Taitano, Pacific Indigenous Women’s Network.
  • Country representatives of Canada, Peru, France, China, Japan, Fiji, New Zealand and many more.

Nearly all the Pacific leaders at the summit and most of the experts signed a declaration that the mayor of Rapa Nui called “S.O.S. Rapa Nui, a final cry for help,” Minneboo said. 

Minneboo was among those at the summit who signed a declaration calling on the international community to reduce plastic pollution in the Pacific region. He said the declaration’s goal was to “send a clear signal” to the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) for the Global Plastics Treaty, which will meet for its fourth round of negotiations on April 23-29 in Ottawa, Canada.

The declaration recognizes that the Pacific Ocean is important to communities along its coasts and that plastic pollution is part of the planetary crisis. It calls for a commitment to concrete actions to protect the ocean, especially against plastic and microplastic pollution in the Pacific region. 

The document also encourages and recognizes the contribution of children, youth, women and indigenous people. 

Hopefully, the declaration will be presented in some form during INC-4 “to inspire people to really be ambitious with these negotiations and not keep stalling, and aim for good global results,” Minneboo said.

“I think the real challenge is we still do not speak the same language,” Minneboo said. “We recognize plastic pollution to be a problem. But we do not agree on a simultaneous multi-solution approach addressing the entire life cycle of plastic. The predominant focus is on sustainably managing waste. However, that is an end-of-life perspective on the matter of plastic, but it doesn’t address the issue of plastic reduction throughout the entire life cycle of plastic.” 

As a presenter, Minneboo presented POI’s mission of collective activism through film and how it serves as an educational and advocacy tool to help end plastic pollution. Minneboo highlighted the importance of the educating on the entire life cycle of plastic and the decisive moments when stakeholders can make a difference.

“Community and municipality leaders don’t want to hear more empty words. They want action. They want commitments not voluntary promises.” Minneboo said. “However, country delegates, who are committed to action, recognize actions from one country is totally different than the other.”

Minneboo will attend INC4 in Ottowa next week. He will be actively connecting with institutions like the World Bank, United Nation country delegates, NGOs and universities to scale up POI’s initiatives to cost effectively educate and engage stakeholders in their countries. 

Contact Minneboo at: mark@plasticocens.org to learn more about POI’s film advocacy initiative.

About Plastic Oceans International:

Plastic Oceans International is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization dedicated to ending plastic pollution and fostering sustainable communities worldwide. POI offers a diverse collection of thought-provoking films accessible to all without territorial rights limits. The POI global team and its partners use film screenings and facilitated discussions to educate and engage key shareholders. 

The organization compiles information gathered during these events into reports to effectively equip communities with powerful advocacy tools to reduce plastic pollution. POI goes beyond raising awareness by fostering local action and supporting the development of sustainable communities. 

For more information, visit: plasticoceans.org

Media Contact:

Plastic Oceans International
Attn: Media Relations
Malibu, CA
+310. 974-3038
jandersen@plasticoceans.org