The Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem (BCLME) is an important region of marine biodiversity and one of the most productive ocean areas in the world. Protection of the Benguela marine ecosystems and species is important both for the individual countries and in a global context. The World Heritage Marine Programme identified the Benguela Current ecosystem as a priority area for future action and it is also on the Tentative List of UNESCO for World Heritage Site nomination. To date little work has been done on plastic pollution within the BCC region, although plastic waste is globally recognised as a serious problem and as one of most conspicuous pollutants of the oceans, having substantial impacts on ocean health and marine life. To address this, the BCC launched the project “Strengthening Ocean Governance in the BCLME” and aims to address this through strengthening industry guidelines.
OneWorld was sub-contracted by CapMarine to support the development of a set of guidelines and/or standards for waste management and discharges of plastics (micro and macro) into the ocean from coastal sources, and for ocean water quality. These guidelines respond to the recommendations made in the Governance Baseline Assessment (GBA) conducted by CapMarine (2020) and will support the implementation of the Strategic Action Programme for the BCC (2015 – 2019).
OneWorld’s activities include a detailed desktop review of the regulatory environment, policy and institutional arrangements and existing monitoring frameworks or guidelines, as well as International Best Practice that relates to waste management and discharges of plastics into the ocean.
This, along with workshops and engagements with stakeholders from the three BCC member states (Angola, Namibia and South Africa) informed the development of the guidelines. The standards and guidelines were validated through national and regional meetings before finalisation and presentation to the BCC.