An open high level event hosted by the Government of Kenya and UNEP in the lead-up to UNEA

Wednesday 17 February, 17:00 – 18:30 (EAT / Nairobi time)

By 2050 the planet will need to provide food, jobs, energy and raw materials required to sustain a population of 10 billion people. The long-term ability of oceans to provide services essential to human well-being rely on policies and economic models that promote sustainability, enhance sector efficiency and minimize environmental impacts from human activities and consumption.

Viewed through a lens of ‘oceans’, this event will explore key challenges and practical solutions to the triple planetary crises of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution, diving into marine litter and plastic pollution as an example of local to global action. It will consider the regional and Kenyan contributions to the overall agenda.

The Ad Hoc Open-Ended Expert Group on Marine Litter and Microplastics completed its mandate at its fourth meeting in November 2020. A significant outcome of their work was in identifying a range of options to be further considered by UNEA-5b. To continue to build momentum towards UNEA-5b, there is a call for member states and stakeholders to recognize the magnitude and urgency of this issue, consider the identified options and to work cooperatively together to turn the tide on plastic.

This event will demonstrate the commitment and leadership of Kenya, and the Africa Region, on the ocean agenda, including impactful efforts to protect human health and the environment from marine litter and plastic pollution, including microplastics.

Objectives of the event

  1. To demonstrate and showcase Kenya’s commitment and contribution to reducing marine litter and plastic across the lifecycle, including through:
  • Progressive legislation to reduce single use plastic bags;
  • Public awareness and mobilization, e.g. FlipFlopi Expedition & Clean Seas campaign;
  • Ban on single-use plastics in protected areas;
  • Membership in the Global Partnership on Marine Litter;
  • Championing sustainable blue economy principles:
  1. To invite EAC countries to the Clean Seas Source to Sea campaign, particularly reflecting on the FlipFlopi Expedition (
  2. To promote high-level ambition to address the triple planetary crisis, including the need for a global common vision to address plastic pollution in the marine environment, protecting human health and addressing all sources and pathways of plastic pollution from land and rivers to oceans through a global agreement.


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