The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)


Working together for a future with plastic-free rivers and seas

A new partnership with the South Asia Co-operative Environment Programme will support the implementation of the World Bank-funded Plastic Free Rivers and Seas for South Asia project.

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The Plastic Free Rivers and Seas for South Asia Project (PLEASE) looks for innovative ways to reduce the amount of plastic pollution in the South Asian seas. Taking a multi-pronged approach, the project aims to strengthen local capacity for the identification and testing of pollution. It also aims to bring about change through policy as well as public-private sector engagement.

“Marine plastic pollution is clearly a transboundary issue, and there is an urgency to act. A single country intervention would not suffice to address this issue, regional cooperation is vital,” said Masumur Rahman, Director General of the South Asia Co-operative Environment Programme (SACEP).

With $4.4 million in funding from the World Bank International Development Association, UNOPS will support SACEP by managing the disbursement of grants to eligible organizations in South Asia that are specialized in the identification and testing of plastic pollution.

UNOPS will also construct a state-of-the-art, green-certified and low-carbon facility to serve as the headquarters for the SACEP in Colombo, Sri Lanka. This structure will meet international green building standards and will be a centre of excellence for climate action in the South Asia region.

“Plastic pollution of our rivers and oceans is a critical environmental challenge faced by humanity. Supporting climate action is a key focus of UNOPS and we are proud to engage with SACEP and the World Bank on this important issue,” said Sudhir Muralidharan, UNOPS Country Manager in Sri Lanka and Maldives.

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