Tokyo Blue Talk: Advances Towards a Sustainable and Healthy Ocean — The Impact of Plastic Pollution on a Sustainable Blue Economy

TOKYO: On 9 May 2024, UNU and the Embassies of Costa Rica and France in Japan will co-host a Tokyo Blue Talk to discuss the impact of ocean pollution.

- Asia/Tokyo
Open to public

On 9 May 2024, the United Nations University and the Embassies of Costa Rica and France in Japan will co-host the event “Tokyo Blue Talk: Advances Towards a Sustainable and Healthy Ocean — The Impact of Plastic Pollution on a Sustainable Blue Economy”. This event will begin at 14:00 in the 1F Annex Space at United Nations University headquarters in Tokyo.

Healthy oceans are crucial for the well-being and survival of humanity. In addition to producing 50% of the oxygen we breathe, oceans are the main regulator of climate and global temperature, and the largest sink for carbon dioxide. Their ecosystems, biodiversity of flora and fauna, and abundance of resources and energy are vital to the planet.

Important multilateral agreements such as the United Nations Biodiversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction Treaty, also known as the High Seas Treaty, which recognizes the relevance of having dedicated protected areas on the high seas, will contribute to the global goal of protecting 30% of the oceans. This was promoted by Costa Rica and France within the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework adopted in December 2022. In addition, the current negotiations towards the adoption of a new legally binding instrument to end plastic pollution, including in the marine environment, will be fundamental for the adoption of global measures and the definition of the new sustainable development goals beyond 2030.

As part of the multiple efforts undertaken by the international community to address these challenges, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution through which Costa Rica and France will co-host the 2025 United Nations Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for Sustainable  Development (2025 United Nations Ocean Conference) to take place in Nice, France from 9 to 13 June 2025.

Also, as a relevant milestone on the way to the UN Conference, Costa Rica is organizing the High-Level Event on Ocean Action “Immersed in Change”, to be held on 7-8 June 2024. The event will create a space for the exchange of good practices and successful experiences to improve the governance and health of oceans.

For this Tokyo Blue Talk, the Embassies of Costa Rica and France will join with UNU, the UNU Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS), the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), to gain momentum before the High-Level Event in Costa Rica takes place.  

The talk will engage relevant actors to discuss the impact of ocean pollution primarily from plastics and other major pollutants and efforts to achieve SDG 14 and the financing schemes (blue economy) that seek to develop more sustainable and healthy oceans.

This event will be held in English. Advance registration (by 8 May, 12:00 noon) is required. Please click on the REGISTER button above to access the online registration page.

Please note that entry into the venue will not be allowed after 14:15. Please be prepared to present identification at check-in.  


14:00–14:10 — Opening remarks

  • H.E. Mr. Alexander Salas Araya, Ambassador of Costa Rica to Japan  
  • H.E. Mr. Philippe Setton, Ambassador of France to Japan     
  • H.E. Mr. Arnoldo André, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Costa Rica (Pre-recorded) 

14:10–15:10 — Keynote speeches

  • Prof. Tshilidzi Marwala, Rector of UNU and Under-Secretary-General of the UN — "Life Below Water — How the UN System is Working to Protect the Oceans" (Pre-recorded) 
  • Dr. Tsunao Watanabe, Senior Programme Coordinator, UNU-IAS — “Conservation and Restoration of Satoumi Ecosystems and Seascapes” 
  • Ms. Yumi Kimura, Director of Environmental Management Group, Global Environment Department, JICA – “Clean City Initiative and Plastic Pollution in the Ocean” 
  • Ms. Hideko Hadzialic, Director, UNDP Representation Office in Tokyo – “End Plastic Pollution: Challenges and Opportunities” 

15:10–15:30 — Q&A Session

15:30 — Closing remarks

  • Mr. Yutaka Matsuzawa, Vice Minister for Global Environmental Affairs of Japan 

15:40–16:30 — Post-event reception

Related content


Nexus Approaches to battery waste management for sustainable e-mobility transition: insights from Germany (NABATE)

The NABATE project analyzes end-of-life EV batteries in Germany, assessing waste streams, regulations, and recycling solutions for Korean stakeholders.

09 Jul 2024


A New Research Project with K-eco Launched to End Plastic Pollution

UNU-FLORES and K-eco launched new collaborative research project “TRANS-PLAST” to tackle plastic pollution.

24 Jun 2024