Rapa Nui Summit 2024: United for the Oceans


The Rapa Nui 2024 Pacific Leaders Summit, to be held April 3-5 on the iconic island of Rapa Nui, Chile, promises to be a momentous event in the global fight against plastic and microplastic pollution, highlighting the urgent need to protect our oceans. 

Organized by the Municipality of Rapa Nui, with the support of the United Nations System in Chile, the United Nations Environment Program, and the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this high-level international summit aims to convene leaders from diverse Pacific islands and coastal territories to collectively address this critical environmental challenge.

At a time when the world's oceans, especially the vast and uncharted Pacific Ocean, face a shared crisis due to plastic and microplastic pollution and the degradation of its marine ecosystems, the importance of such gatherings cannot be underestimated. The presence of plastics in the world's waters not only poses a direct threat to marine life and human health but also demands a coordinated and global response.

The Summit focuses on promoting dialogue and collaboration among participating nations to foster concrete actions to mitigate the entry of plastics and microplastics into the ocean, as well as to promote the conservation and protection of the seas. In addition, emphasis will be placed on the importance of integrating scientific knowledge with ancestral knowledge in the fight against climate change, pollution and ocean protection.

The Pacific Ocean, being a vital source of natural and food resources, plays a crucial role in sustaining the nutritional needs of millions of people worldwide. This fact underscores a shared responsibility among all nations to ensure its sustainability and preservation for future generations. In this context, the Municipality of Rapa Nui, through its Mayor, has demonstrated a serious commitment to this global challenge by recently presenting a Local Voluntary Report on the 2030 Agenda to the United Nations High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.

Plastic pollution in the environment is a global concern due to its persistence and widespread distribution. It is estimated that between 9 and 14 million tons of plastic waste end up in the oceans every year, with plastic waste found in all areas of the planet, from the deepest seas to the most remote mountains. This situation not only threatens biodiversity and disrupts the livelihoods of millions of people, but also poses a significant risk to human health and the global economy.

The Summit will address critical issues such as analyzing the current state of plastic and microplastic pollution, strategies to reduce and prevent their entry into the oceans, integrating scientific and traditional knowledge to find effective solutions, and contributing to global ocean governance negotiation and agreement processes. In addition, the importance of achieving Sustainable Development Goal 14, which seeks to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources, will be emphasized.

This event will not only serve as a platform to share experiences, knowledge, and commitments but also aims to lay the foundation for a sustainable and clean future for the Pacific Ocean, uniting all in a common front to safeguard its richness and vitality for communities and future generations. The Rapa Nui Pacific Leaders Summit 2024 is shaping up to be not only an event of reflection but a milestone in global action against plastic pollution, being the voice of change towards a more sustainable future.

For further information: https://www.rapanui.net/secciones/5963 

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