Strategies to boost Indo-Pacific maritime cooperation and reduce marine plastic waste are the focus of a new collaborative project between the University of Wollongong (UoW) and O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU).
‘Integrated Maritime Management & Security across the Indo-Pacific’ was one of four projects funded under the second round for the Australia-India Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative Partnership to undertake maritime ecology projects.
The project has two key objectives. The first is to develop a framework to build coherence and cohesion across seven Indo-Pacific Ocean Initiative (IPOI) pillars. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the IPOI pillars in 2019:
- Maritime Ecology
- Maritime Security
- Marine Resources
- Capacity Building and Resource Sharing
- Disaster Risk Reduction and Management
- Science, Technology and Academic Cooperation
- Trade, Connectivity and Maritime Transport
The second part will be a case study of an action plan to tackle marine pollution, with a focus on plastic waste. Plastic pollution in the Indian Ocean is a huge problem – it endangers marine life, food safety and costs fishing and tourism industries.
Faculty members from UoW and JGU worked closely together in preparing the funding application. Senior faculty members and post-doctoral students from several disciplines will collaborate on the implementation of the project, including professors from international affairs, law, liberal arts and humanities, environment and sustainability. In addition to faculty participation, industry partners and government officials will be invited to participate in the proposed conference, workshops and edited volume to encourage practical insights into the seven IPOI pillars.