Rationale and Objectives of the Conference

The project on Promotion of Countermeasures Against Marine Plastic Litter in Southeast Asia and India (hereafter referred to as “CounterMEASURE”) was officially launched in May 2019 aiming to identify a region-based model for monitoring and assessment of plastic leakage and pollution reduction targeting land-based plastic leakage entering waterways such as rivers and canals or drainages to the sea. This project, funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), the Government of Japan, is implemented by the UN Environment Programme Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in collaboration with local partners in the region such as line ministries, academia and civil society.

During its one-year implementation period, the project organized a number of technical consultations and expert group meetings in Thailand and India where the methodology for identifying plastic leakage pathways was discussed and emerging know-hows on the science-policy interface on plastic leakage were shared. Data collection and surveys were carried out in 5 cities along the lower Mekong River and 4 cities in India. The project conducted outreach activities with NGOs in India to share findings from local surveys as well as to raise awareness about plastic pollution among citizens. In order to further support the project’s plans and policies on plastic leakage reduction, a capacity mapping was conducted among stakeholders of the Mekong to identify gaps between the fundamental capacity to institutionalize the plastic pollution assessment and the prevailing capacity.

CounterMEASURE has produced to date: 

  • Platform CounterMEASURE: a Geographic Information System (GIS) platform to visualize plastic leakage data and pathways;

  • Region-based approach of plastic pollution assessment and monitoring in rivers in Asia: a conceptual framework for assessment and monitoring of plastic pollution from rivers covering scoping, data collection, analysis, visualization, and communication;

  • Plastic Leakage Pathways: stories of plastic litter entering waterways and rivers, and

  • Groups of universities, researchers, and NGOs in Asia with interest and expertise on subjects related to plastic leakage reduction.

The final stakeholder conference, which will be held from 25th to 28th May 2020, will showcase achievements and findings of the CounterMEASURE project during its first phase and preview what is in store for 2020, on its second phase of implementation. The conference aims to highlight key stories and innovative solutions that gained through the project CounterMEASURE. In light of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Conference will be fully virtual. This digital Conference will target and involve wider stakeholders, including policymakers, researchers, engineers, private sectors, civil society groups, through streamed keynotes, breakout sessions, interactive learning and “ask an expert” sessions with CounterMEASURE technical partners and experts.

What stakeholders can gain?
  • Gain a deeper understanding of plastic leakage pathways in Asia

  • Learn how to implement the assessment and monitor plastic pollution in rivers

  • Study the opportunity and challenges of using emerging technology to stop the plastic leakage

  • Get queries answered by CounterMEASURE Experts

  • Opportunity to join a regional movement that tackles the plastic pollution issue in rivers

  • Enhance networks with experts in the field of marine plastic issues

CounterMEASURE Conference Programme 

Maximizing opportunity of a virtual setting, this conference will host live learning sessions of the region-based approach to the assessment and monitoring of plastic pollution in rivers, including data collection, leakage pathway analysis, and use of the GIS platform. CounterMEASURE technical experts will explain the key features and use cases, share best practices, walk through technical demos, and be available to answer questions from the audience. Learning materials and an online discussion forum will be provided throughout the week to widen the opportunity of learning for stakeholders from different time zones. The conference will also invite technical experts from other projects/organizations also to share their knowledge and insights. Two sessions targeting members of the press/media will be held, in English and Japanese, on Thursday, 28th May 2020

Duration: 25th to 28th May 2020

Venue: Virtual