Egypt’s Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad met with Inger Andersen — the UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) — to discuss biodiversity and limiting the use of single plastic bags.
This came on the side-lines of the UN Conference of Parties on Climate Change (COP27) being held in Sharm El-Sheikh till 18 November.
The two parties discussed common concerns in the lead up to Conference of Parties on Biological Diversity (COP15) scheduled to be held in Canada next month and the recommendations and results that the COP27 will present in support of the biodiversity file.
Fouad also expressed her aspiration for the results of the activities of Biodiversity Day, which will be launched on Wednesday and aims to place biodiversity at the centre of climate discussions.
For her part, Andersen expressed her keen interest in achieving progress in the file of losses and damages, praising the efforts of Fouad in advancing this file and her aspiration to come up with important recommendations ahead of the COP15.
The two parties also discussed the issue of reducing pollution with single-use plastic bags, where the minister indicated that it is a sensitive and very important issue that must be addressed now and requires the provision of technology and capacity-building to reach a complete ban on the use of plastic bags.
Moreover, Fouad drew attention to intense national efforts during the past two years to include the issue of reducing the use of plastic bags on the list of national environmental priorities and the challenges it witnessed during a complex process that requires coordination and multiple efforts with various concerned parties from the private sector, manufacturers, traders, and consumers to reach the best solutions and practices.
She also pointed to the inclusion of regulated articles to reduce the use of single-use plastic bags in Egyptian waste law and the launch of the national strategy to reduce the use of single-use plastic bags to move with firm steps towards our goal of reducing plastic pollution.