Participation at the International Symposium on Plastics in the Arctic (March 2021)
ArCS II Overseas Fellowship Program for FY2020 participant
Dai YAMAWAKI (JICA Specialist, France office)
I participated at the International symposium on Plastics in the Arctic during 2nd-4th and 8th-9th March 2021. With a specific focus on plastic/microplastic issues, this symposium considered the latest trend and solution to tackle this cross-border environmental problems at a global scale. This symposium was organized by Iceland (the chairman of the Arctic Council during May 2019 – May 2021) and the Nordic Council of Ministries, in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and some research institutions. It was originally planned to be held in Reykjavik, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was organized via a virtual format.
Among others, though all data and discussion points were of crucial importance, it was the interesting fact that Russia is the largest contaminators to the plastic problems in the Arctic region whilst the UK occupied the 3rd position. As the UK has a presidency for UNFCCC COP 26 and be keen on launching various environmental measures, the above fact strongly implies that the plastic problems be a granular target of analysis and discussion in an international setting. The symposium itself was fulfilling, but one remaining is that the online participation did not lead to the formation of human network, which was one of the original purposes for my participation. If there is such an opportunity near future, I would like to actively participate and report my research outputs on thematic issues as well.