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Commonwealth assisting Belize to eradicate marine litter

Scientists from the United Kingdom  are in Belize to assist their Belizean counterparts to tackle plastic pollution in the sea. The initiative is made possible through the Commonwealth Litter Programme (CLiP) which is being funded by the United Kingdom. Belize is the third country to receive support through CLiP and the team will bring their knowledge gathered during the first phase of the programme which was conducted in the two South Pacific island nations of Vanuatu and Solomon Islands. The first phase saw local scientists trained to use new laboratory facilities and the recovery of fifteen thousand items of litter. UK Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey noted that plastic pollution is a global challenge and that the UK is happy to be collaborating with the commonwealth in the fight against the blight of plastic in our ocean. Meanwhile, Dr. Omar Figueroa, the Minister of the Environment said that Belize is pleased to join the UK and other countries working together on this through the Commonwealth Clean Oceans Alliance. Figueroa added that it is essential to combat marine litter in order to safeguard “Belize’s beautiful environment, rich biodiversity, vibrant maritime economy and fantastic visitor destinations.” Under the programme, data will be collected, best practices will be developed and a network will be formed through which solutions and ideas will be shared. A contest will also be held to highlight the innovative ideas being developed by youth and Belize enterprises.