Four IUCN economic case studies show the impacts of plastic pollution in the marine environment on biodiversity, livelihoods, and more in Africa and Asia
Research into the economic aspects of the Marine Plastics and Coastal Communities project, to contain and reduce plastic pollution in the ocean, delivers insight into the true costs of plastic pollution on communities, livelihoods, coasts, and the global ocean.
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The Marine Plastics and Coastal Communities (MARPLASTICCs) project goal was to assist governments and regional bodies in Eastern and Southern Africa and Asia to promote, enact, and enforce legislation and other effective measures to contain and reduce plastic pollution in the ocean. Part of the research completed included defining an economic assessment approach and producing economics case studies that reflected the impacts of plastic pollution on the marine environment, on coastal livelihoods, and more.
National case studies
Four national level economic case studies are available: for Mozambique, South Africa, Thailand, and Viet Nam. The important economic sectors of fisheries and tourism were studied, using different lenses to examine how plastic pollution causes detrimental economic impacts at national and local levels. Each assessment differs and explores wide-ranging economic dimensions that should be considered when creating a national plan of action to mitigate marine litter and plastic pollution in the environment. From impacts upon export revenue, employment and food security, to the economic efficiency of beach cleaning in conjunction with deposit refund schemes, and the impact of ghost gear on fisheries, these four case studies take a reader into the true costs of plastic pollution on our global ocean and coastal communities.
What is the impact of plastic pollution on fisheries – including the broader economic dimension relating to export revenue, employment, food security, and marine ecosystems, and biodiversity? This economic policy brief explains these impacts within the Republic of Mozambique.
What are the impacts of plastic pollution on tourism revenue and tourism employment? What is the efficiency of beach cleaning with the implementation of a DRS? What is the impact on employment after DRS implementation? This economic policy brief explains these impacts within the context of the city of Cape Town, South Africa.
This issues brief presents the results of a study that estimated the impact of marine macroplastic on Thai net fisheries operating in the Gulf of Thailand. The study has estimated the reduction in the net fisheries’ revenue due to the plastic stock and annual flow into the fishing zone/Thai Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) (Gulf of Thailand).
What are the impacts of plastic pollution caused by abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear (ALDFG), also known as ‘ghost gear’? What are the costs to biodiversity of ghost gear? This economic policy brief explains the impacts on fishing boats in Phước Tinh and Loc An, Ba Ria Vung Tau Province, Viet Nam.
The work IUCN is doing on the impacts of plastic pollution, especially on tourism, fisheries, and waste management aims to identify the plastic applications and polymers and the waste management gaps that are contributing to the global problem.
IUCN works on-the-ground with partners from NGOs, the private sector, and national governments, in order to determine the priority problems and the most effective interventions, to advise countries how to stop the problem within their specific national context. IUCN bring science and knowledge together with policy, for action, in this case economic policies can be examined for their role in dealing with plastic pollution.
As the world is now focused on the establishment of a global plastic pollution treaty, understanding the scope of the impacts and prioritising interventions – including economic interventions – will be needed.
Acknowledgments and Support
The Marine Plastics and Coastal Communities project (MARPLASTICCs), generously supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), provided support for the research and production of these Economic Case Studies.
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