Small Island Developing States and plastic pollution – Challenges and opportunities of a global agreement on plastic pollution for SIDS

Per-Olof Busch 2022: Small Island Developing States and plastic pollution. Challenges and opportunities of a global agreement on plastic pollution for SIDS. Eschborn: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

On March 2, 2022, member states adopted the resolution to “End Plastic Pollution: Towards an international legally binding instrument” at the fifth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA). It establishes an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) and specifies its mandate with the overarching goal to develop and agree upon a legally binding global instrument on plastic pollution by the end of 2024.

Against this background, the study analyses the challenges, needs and opportunities of SIDS in the context of a global agreement on plastic pollution. To this end, it briefly summarizes the scope, sources and impacts of plastic pollution (chapter 1) and reviews the existing policies and regulations in SIDS that target plastic pollution (chapter 2). Based on this analysis, the challenges of SIDS in combating plastic pollution are identified (chapter 3). From these challenges essential needs of SIDS are derived that (ideally) would be addressed in a global agreement and would help SIDS to overcome their challenges. Before the key findings are summarized in the conclusions, options for SIDS to effectively voice their interests in the upcoming negotiations are discussed.