To main content


ASEANO 2 is a regional capacity building project led by NIVA and the Centre for Southeast Asian Studies Indonesia (CSEAS), in collaboration with the ASEAN Secretariat. The project is under the leadership of the ASEAN sectoral body ASEAN Working Group on Coastal and Marine Environment (AWGCME). ASEANO2 aims to build and enhance capacity and knowledge to measure, evaluate and address plastic pollution from key terrestrial sources in the ASEAN region through improved understanding of sources, emissions, transport, and fate.

River in green surroundings
Project period
Norway's development program for combating marine litter and microplastics through the Norwegian Embassy in Jakarta and the Norwegian Ambassador to ASEAN
Total budget (NOK)
External webpages
Contact persons
Hans Fredrik V Braaten

About the project

Building on established and well-functioning partnerships within the ASEAN-Norwegian cooperation project on regional capacity building for reducing plastic pollution (ASEANO), phase 2 (ASEANO 2) aims to continue the support of plastic pollution reduction measures among ASEAN member states (AMS). ASEANO2 will find solutions to manage, mitigate and prevent plastic waste. The project will be relevant for the entire ASEAN region, with case studies planned to be continued in Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, and Cambodia, with partner involvement also including Thailand.


Build knowledge necessary for development of targeted and cost-efficient prevention and mitigation measures for plastic pollution in ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) through a multidisciplinary, cross-sectorial, and holistic approach. 

Aseano figur 1
The project is working to understand the transport of plastics in catchments - from sources via rivers to coastal areas. (Click to see the full illustration.)


Being a global hotspot for plastic waste and subsequent pollution, the countries in ASEAN have for several years expressed their strong commitment to tackling this growing environmental issue. Building on the commitments made through the adoption of the Bangkok Declaration on Combating Marine Debris in the ASEAN Region and the ASEAN Framework of Action on Marine Debris, the ASEAN Regional Action Plan for combating marine debris in the ASEAN member states was launched in May 2021. The Regional Action Plan is based on the three elements of the waste value chain:

  • reducing inputs into the system.
  • enhancing collection and minimizing leakage; and
  • creating value for waste reuse.

The plan provides a scalable, solution-focused joint strategy to tackle plastic pollution and contains 14 action points, divided into four framework components:

  1. Policy Support and Planning
  2. Research, Innovation and Capacity Building
  3. Public Awareness, Education and Outreach
  4. Private Sector Engagement.

Efforts are intensified to limit future releases, and effective implementation of measures in ASEAN has great potential for reducing plastic pollution input on regional as well as global scales.

ASEANO 2 will work towards a more sustainable and effective resource utilization and focus on circularity of resources as means to protect both the environment and human wellbeing from plastic pollution.

In addition, ASEANO 2 will contribute towards a sustainable blue economy in ASEAN. A sustainable blue economy will merge economic development and improved livelihood with protecting ecosystems, reducing climate change, and working towards zero pollution. Increased knowledge and capacity on plastic pollution issues are cornerstones for achieving a more circular blue economy.


ASEANO 2 will continue ongoing work in the three countries involved in phase 1 of the project, Indonesia, Philippines, and Vietnam. Focus will be on developing target areas from phase 1 to address effects of plastic reduction measures and mechanisms, and how these can be used in developing integrated mitigation plans in the region. In combination, this will allow for a broader impact in the region and facilitate stronger regional networks through collaborations and sharing of experiences amongst the project partners and beyond.

Additionally, a Cambodian study site will be included and partners from Thailand will share their experiences and expertise. Both countries have recently developed plans for waste management with specific focus on (among other things) plastic bags.

Cambodia has a relatively new national waste strategy and action plan (2018-2035) focusing on management of plastic bags, while Thailand announced a roadmap on plastic waste management aiming to contributing at phasing out certain types of plastic bags (2018-2030). ASEANO 2 will widen the focus to also develop monitoring capacity, undertake household and industry surveys, and investigate effectiveness of local and regional waste policies in Cambodia.

Figur 2
Figure: Three of the study areas investigated in the project (click on the image for a larger version).