SEA admits ‘that garbage collection mechanisms’ must improve to protect marine habitat

SEA admits ‘that garbage collection mechanisms’ must improve to protect marine habitat

The Secretary of State for the Environment (SSE), Demétrio do Amaral(Image Tatoli/Francisco Sony)

DILI, August 26, 2022 (TATOLI)—State Secretariat for the Environment (SEA), Demetrio do Amaral de Carvalho admits that the garbage collection mechanism in Timor-Leste must be improved to protect marine habitats.

The SEA has so far developed two very important decrees such as decree No. 36/2020 concerning the Protection of biodiversity and decree No. 37/2020 regarding the elimination of plastic use.

“These two decrees have their relevance, we know that if the collection and treatment mechanism is poor and there are no regulations for the community itself, then this plastic waste will have flowed into the sewers and natural habitats thus it will eventually have a direct impact on various species in the ocean,” Amaral told Tatoli.

The garbage continues to kill living things in the ocean. Based on research published by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity in 2016, marine debris has endangered more than 800 species.

Of the 800 species, 40% are marine mammals and 44% are seabird species. The United Nations Ocean Conference in New York in 2017 said plastic waste in the oceans kills 1 million seabirds, 100,000 marine mammals, sea turtles, and countless fish, every year.

Apart from plastic waste, trash in the oceans also consists of abandoned fishing equipment, commonly called ‘ghost nets’ or ‘ghost equipment. The amount is 640 thousand tons or 10 percent of marine debris. Net litter traps turtles, birds, and marine mammals.

The world is currently developing a framework or convention to fight plastic waste and TL together with many countries such as Japan and the Equator countries that offer the new convention to process plastic waste.

“This is a way to process plastic waste not only domestically but it needs global action because a plastic bottle can float in Jakarta (Indonesia) and the sea waters of Atauro or Jaco or other countries ocean’s as well,”

According to the plastic census before the ban on the use of plastic, the waste disposed of at the Tibar Disposal Site (TPA) reached 200 tons every day, from this figure 18% to 20% was plastic waste, meaning around 30-40 tons of plastic waste.

“This plastic waste consists of children’s toys, plastic flowers, styrofoam wrapped rice, this was before we reduced the use of plastic but if we did another census today, it might have been reduced because of our intervention so far,” he said.

Currently, the Ministry of State Administration is the agency responsible for managing domestic waste, but the method of collecting waste is not carried out by disposing and classifying waste.

In various developed countries, waste is divided into three groups, namely recycled waste, household waste, and organic waste, even countries such as Australia and Japan, have stricter waste regulations.



Journalist: José Belarmino De Sá

Editor: Nelia B.


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