GloLitter National Focal Point at Maritime SheEO

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January 29th 2024

The Maritime SheEO conference took place in Mumbai, India on 21 November 2023 featuring a range of speakers from the maritime industry and related fields. Maritime SheEO promotes the increased participation of women and elimination of all forms of bias in the maritime industry.

Ms. Paola Acuña Chacon, the National Focal Point and National Task Force Coordinator for Costa Rica, a Lead Partner Country under the GloLitter Partnerships Project, took part in the conference as a panel member for the discussion entitled Breaking Barriers: Women´s Inclusivity and Gender Diversity in Biofouling and Marine Plastic Litter.

Ms. Acuña Chacon said of the experience:

“It was an honor and pleasure to represent the GloLitter Partnerships Project as the National Task Force Coordinator, and as the National Focal Point for Costa Rica; but most wonderful of all for me was to be representing women in the maritime sector. It was incredible to be invited as a panelist in this discussion, in which the other panelists and I demonstrated to the audience how women can be part of the solutions to eradicate marine pollution.”

The panel showcased the important role women can play in the maritime sector and the value of international cooperation in efforts to address marine pollution issues.

Ms. Acuña Chacon emphasized that with the establishment of public and private alliances and the exchange of best practice from other countries or sectors, developing countries may benefit to strengthen actions targeting sea-based marine plastic litter: for example, through working collaboratively to make amendments to legal systems, to better incorporate related IMO Conventions and the FAO Voluntary Guidelines on the Marking of Fishing Gear, to reduce, control and prevent the presence of marine plastic litter and fishing gear from our seas due to the shipping and fishing industries. Reflecting on the Panel discussion, Ms. Acuña Chacon added that:

“[Highlighting] the importance of the role of women in the maritime sector can make a difference in encouraging governments and NGOs to allow more women to participate in circular economy projects to transform marine plastic litter into reusable materials and be a tide of change in our sector and a solution for our oceans.”

GloLitter Partnerships Project is committed to gender equality under the UN Sustainable Development Goals framework.

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