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Guatemala Takes Action to Clean Up One of the Most Polluted Rivers in the World

Ocean Legacy Foundation (OLF), the non-profit organization that develops and implements worldwide plastic pollution response programs, today announced that they are working with Haciendo Eco to help create an alliance with community partners to clean up one of the world’s most polluted rivers, the Motagua River in Guatemala. Principles of the EPIC program will be incorporated into a comprehensive strategy to assist in ending the plastic pollution crisis in the Motagua River Basin. As part of this initiative, extensive shoreline cleanups will occur across 15 municipalities in Guatemala. Following the cleanups, strategic educational signage will be implemented across the river basin as well as students from 45 schools and businesses across each municipality will participate in the EPIC Academy, Ocean Legacy’s global ocean plastics education program, sponsored by TELUS and Haciendo Eco’s waste management education program, Ecoreto 21, now serving more than 12,500 participants across Guatemala.

“The Motagua River carries at least 8,500 tonnes of waste every year into the Caribbean sea. Incredible efforts to try and contain and remove this waste using boom technology has been deployed by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MARN), The Ocean Cleanup and 4Ocean recovery programs,” said Chloé Dubois, co-founder, Ocean Legacy Foundation. “Ocean Legacy looks forward to contributing to these critical efforts by furthering preventative land-based waste management practices and policies including education and further cleanup. These collective actions and through the new Motagua River Alliance, strategic action will take place to continuing restoring this important body of water for all future generations to come.”

The first phase of this initiative will include essential education and training efforts using ECOreto 21 and the EPIC Academy that will address current knowledge gaps in environmental education and the importance of the river basin as well as critical details in waste sorting and classification which will be completed by Friday, March 22, 2024, in celebration of World Water Day. 

“The Motagua River crosses and receives pollution from 96 municipalities in Guatemala, including the metropolitan landfill of Zone 3, making it one of the most polluted rivers in the world”, said Jaime Ramos, Haciendo ECO. “The level of pollution in the Motagua basin is so big and its mouth into the Caribbean Sea destroys the Mesoamerican Reef, the second most important reef on the planet. We hope that with the help from our growing Alliance and through this collaborative effort between us all, we will be able to enjoy a clean, healthy and safe water environment soon.”

Current organizations in the Alliance include: Patio de la Paz of Palacio Nacional de la Cultura, the representatives of Ministerio De Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, Rotary International, Adopta Un Río de Rotary International, Ocean Legacy Foundation, Fundación Crecer Guatemala, The Ocean Cleanup, COPRESAM, Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo (PNUD), Biotrash, Asociación De Reservas Naturales Privadas De Guatemala, BLP Abogados, Municipalidad De Guatemala, Central América CarePlan, Fundación Para el Ecodesarrollo y La Conservación, Cervecería Ambev Guatemala, Más y Más Comunicación, Resikla, Fundación Azteca Guatemala, Fundación Centro Guatemalteco De Producción Más Limpia, Environmental Sustainability Rotary Action Group, Los Clubes Rotarios de Guatemala del Valle, del Este, de la Asunción, del Sur y del Lago de Atitlán, Vidriera Guatemalteca, Zone Environmental Services, Dutch Clean Tech, Ecoins, Sustainable Ocean Alliance – SOA , Fundación Para La Conservación Del Agua De La Región Metropolitana De Guatemala, INNOVATION, Por Un Mundo Limpio Como El Vidrio.

Source : Yahoo News