Position paper

IUCN Position Paper for INC-1 Plastic Pollution Treaty

The first meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee established by the United Nations Environmental Assembly (UNEA) with AnchorUNEA resolution 5/14  to “End plastic pollution: Towards an international legally binding instrument” is taking place amidst a context of growing economic, food, and energy insecurity. At the same time, numerous international environmental treaties and those relating to trade, including within the World Trade Organisation (WTO), are addressing elements of plastic pollution.

There is overwhelming evidence that conservation works and is an effective and essential contributor towards many of humanity’s goals, including towards a circular economy and a systemic shift to sustainable trade on plastics. The INC-1 provides a unique opportunity for the global community and IUCN to reinforce plastic pollution governance at the interface of human rights, environment, trade rules, and sustainable development.

For this first INC, IUCN highlights the following:

  • Guided by IUCN Resolutions adopted by IUCN Members in 2021[1], IUCN strongly welcomes the ongoing process for a global Plastics Treaty and supports the partnerships in place in order to eliminate and remediate plastic pollution and enhance circular plastic management at local, regional, and global levels.
  • IUCN strongly encourages Parties to start negotiations with the ultimate goal of stopping plastic pollution worldwide by 2030 (Zero Pollution) in sight, while considering national and local circumstances and capabilities for implementation along the whole plastics value chain.
  • IUCN calls for inclusiveness in the process and an effective treaty as an outcome. The Treaty must address the full life-cycle, embrace bold, new, science-based tools, cover a broad scope of environmental resources (land, water, ocean) and create a set of policy measures and means of implementation to upscale and redirect finance, incentives, and trade. Strong stakeholder involvement in the upcoming negotiations and in implementation is therefore key.

IUCN stands ready to support this process. The Union is well equipped to play a leading role in shaping critical coalitions, bring scientific knowledge and technical expertise to contribute throughout the INC process. IUCN also offers the tools to guide, monitor, and measure action including the IUCN Global Standard for Nature-based Solutions.