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Event date and time

Wednesday 6 Mar 2024
8am to 10am: Networking breakfast and panel discussion on plastic pollution. 10am to 12pm: Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction Agreement (BBNJ Agreement) workshop


RMIT University, Green Brain at Storey Hall Building
Cnr Swanston and Latrobe Streets, Melbourne VIC

Presented by the Australian Government in collaboration with CSIRO, RMIT and Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS) of the University of Wollongong, this invitation only event will bring together leading and emerging maritime experts from across the ASEAN region to discuss plastic pollution and biodiversity as a cross-border issue. The event will focus on the challenges and opportunities of driving cross-border and regional collaboration.

Join us for a networking breakfast, panel discussion and workshop as we explore the challenges with maritime plastic pollution and potential solutions to protect the environment through the development of circular economies.


  • Free

Dates and Times

Event date: Mar 2024

Wednesday 6 Mar 2024

RMIT University, Green Brain at Storey Hall Building

8am to 10am: Networking breakfast and panel discussion on plastic pollution. 10am to 12pm: Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction Agreement (BBNJ Agreement) workshop

Cnr Swanston and Latrobe Streets, Melbourne VIC
Get Directions


SJ Stevenson

More information

Panel discussion

​Hosted by CSIRO’s Ending Plastic Waste Mission, and its Indo-Pacific Plastic Innovation Network, our panellists will delve into the heart of the plastic pollution problem in the ASEAN region, and cross-border actions. Specifically, the panel will consider opportunities for regional collaboration through the lens of differences in waste management policy and practice among neighbouring countries, international legal frameworks, technological innovation, and socio-economic factors.


Following the panel, we will host an in-depth workshop looking at the recently adopted Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction Agreement (BBNJ Agreement).

This workshop will raise awareness of the benefits of the BBNJ Agreement and explore its obligations, duties and responsibilities in respect to the four corners of the BBNJ package deal, namely: (1) marine genetic resources including benefit-sharing; (2) Measures such as area-based management tools, including marine protected areas; (3) Environmental impact assessments; and (4) Capacity-building and marine technology transfer.

The workshop will consider how the BBNJ Agreement can be implemented in practice, including the legal, administrative and institutional mechanisms governments will need to establish in order to comply with their obligations under the new instrument and will also explore how the BBNJ Agreement could be a useful tool for ASEAN member countries to foster sustainable and inclusive ocean governance in the region.

Our speakers

Plastic pollution panel discussion 8am – 10am

Facilitator: Dr Deborah Lau, Ending Plastic Waste Mission Lead, CSIRO

Opening remarks: Professor Claire Macken, Pro Vice-Chancellor of RMIT Vietnam

Official welcome: Dr Dan Metcalfe, Director for Environment, CSIRO

Panel moderator: Andrea Sosa Pintos, Senior Program Manager, Indo-Pacific Plastics Innovation Network, CSIRO


Jeff Macguire, Director – Packaging Collection & Recycling, Australia, Pacific & Indonesia, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners

Jeff Macguire

Jeff Maguire is a senior executive with Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP) of over 33 years. He has had a wide experience in corporate finance, supply chain management, logistics, industrial relations and sustainability encompassing a variety of roles and functions.

Jeff currently leads Coca-Cola Europacific Partners’ involvement in container collection and recycling across the Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific and Indonesia. The Pacific is a priority area for collection and a focus is on the establishment or expansion of container collection in our Pacific Island franchise territories. There are active programmes being established and expanded in Fiji, Samoa, PNG, Cook Islands, Vanuatu and Tonga.

Jeff is a director of Statewide Recycling in South Australia and has been directly involved with the container deposit schemes in South Australia and the Northern Territory in various roles over the last 25 years. Statewide Recycling currently operates in South Australia and Northern Territory, is the largest Scheme Coordinator in those states and represents over 400 manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors.

Jeff  is also a Director or Alternate Director on the Boards of the NSW, Qld, ACT, WA and Victoria Scheme Coordinators which are charged with the delivery of the Container Deposit Schemes in those States.

Dr Melissa Skidmore, Team Leader Polymer Chemistry, CSIRO

Dr Melissa Skidmore

Dr. Melissa Skidmore is a senior research scientist, with a track record of over two decades at the forefront of polymer, synthetic, and computational chemistry, as well as polymer analysis and characterization. Melissa is currently leading the Waste Innovation Work Package for the CSIRO Ending Plastic Waste Mission and holds a key position in the CSIRO Circular Economy research initiative.

Drawing on her extensive knowledge, Melissa is dedicated to addressing the challenge of redesigning, reusing, and recycling plastics. Her ongoing research ventures include the development of "recyclable-by-design" polymers and biopolymers from microalgae. She is also actively involved in the management and processing of problematic plastics, focusing on plastic waste solutions across remote, regional, and international landscapes. Melissa is deeply committed to promoting circular economy principles and transforming plastic waste into a valuable resource.

Among her recent publications are "The recycled plastics market: global analysis and trends" and "Recycling pathways for ghost nets and other marine debris in Northern Australia."

Teoh ZhiXuan, Co-Founder – Business Operations Strategist, Nuplas Solutions

Teoh ZhiXuan

With over 8 years of dedicated experience in the plastics industry since earning his BSc in Polymer Engineering, Teoh has been involved in sales, marketing and R&D, which helped him understand and recognize the diverse needs of companies within the plastics industry, especially on end-of-life waste management and material circularity. 

Realizing the gap between sustainability goals and implementation efforts of brand owners and corporations within the plastics industry, Nuplas Solutions was founded to provide comprehensive Circular Economy project solutions and management services for B2b finite material waste management. By integrating best practices and data-driven strategies, Nuplas Solutions aim to deliver dual-impact outcomes encompassing financial gains and ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) benefits to its partners. The company collaborates closely with industry stakeholders from industry players, brand owners, recyclers, to government agencies, consultants, and social enterprises to orchestrate the development and execution of strategic sustainability projects.

Dr Wijarn Simachaya, President, Thailand Environment Institute

Dr Wijarn Simachaya

Dr. Simachaya is the current President of Thai Environment Institute (TEI), the Secretary-General of Thailand Business Council for Sustainable Development (TBCSD, and a President of Thai Sustainable Consumption and Production Network (Thai SCP Network). He currently works with various public-private agencies, civil societies and communities on the ground to develop environmental management models for the country and moving toward sustainable development.

Currently, he has also served an environmental expert in various nation committee such as Bio-Circular-Green Economy Model, Coastal and Marine Resources Administration Committee, Circular Economy Sub-Committee, National Water Resources Committee, Chairman of Board of Directors of Thailand Greenhouse Gas Organization, Chairman of Bio-based Economy Development Office (Public Organization).

Dr. Simachaya was also a representative of the ministry for various UN, Sub-regional, and ASEAN / ASEAN Plus 3 Forums. He had played an important role to develop the ASEAN Haze-Free Road Map by 2020, and Bangkok Declaration on Combating Marine Plastic Debris in ASEAN region in 2019.

Sing Suen Soon, Program Manager Venture Development, Second Muse

Sing Suen Soon

Sing-Suen Soon (Suen) is a Program Manager at SecondMuse, managing the Plastics portfolio. Central to her responsibilities is driving upstream innovation, a collaborative effort engaging stakeholders from both demand and supply sides to tackle plastic pollution at its source. Suen also led The Single Use Plastics (SUP) Challenge, which facilitated 91 pilots aimed at reducing single-use plastics in partnership with foodservice companies across South and Southeast Asia. In her capacity at SecondMuse, she extends support to CSIRO's network of regional plastic innovators through involvement in the Indo-Pacific Plastic Innovation Network programs. Beyond her professional endeavours, Suen dedicates her time to social entrepreneurship projects in areas of design thinking and social procurement.

BBNJ Agreement workshop 10am – 12pm

Facilitator: Dr Sarah Lothian, Senior Lecturer and Academic Barrister, Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS) of the University of Wollongong

Dr Sarah Lothian

Dr Sarah Lothian is a Lecturer and Academic Barrister at the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS) at the University of Wollongong. Sarah decided to embark upon a career in Academia after spending 12+ years in the legal profession. Sarah holds a PhD in Law from the University of Sydney and a Masters degree in Maritime Law (with Distinction) from the University of Nottingham. Sarah’s research focuses on the protection of biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ) and her recent book, Marine Conservation and International Law: Legal Instruments for Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (Routledge, 2022) analyses each of the four elements of the BBNJ package deal including marine genetic resources, area-based management tools, environmental impact assessments, capacity-building and marine technology transfer. At ANCORS, Sarah convenes the postgraduate course on Maritime Regulation and Enforcement, and teaches into a range of courses on Law of the Sea and other ocean governance issues. Sarah remains an active member of the New South Wales Bar and is admitted to practice in the Senior Courts of England and Wales.

Facilitator: Dr Piers Dunstan, Team Leader Marine Biodiversity Risk and Management, CSIRO

Dr Piers Dunstan

Team Leader and Senior Principal Research Scientist with CSIRO Environment, Dr Piers has expertise on the identification, analysis, management and conservation of marine biodiversity and data systems to support these efforts. This work is part of the National Environmental Science Program (NESP) Marine and Coastal Hub. Dr Piers is the lead of the Protected Place Management Initiative, responsible for research on marine and terrestrial protected places within NESP, and leads a portfolio of projects on prediction of biodiversity, cumulative impacts, and management of biodiversity within Australia's EEZ and globally in collaboration with the CBD, ISA and FAO. This work includes the develop approaches to the management and monitoring of marine biodiversity for the Australian Government.

Dr Piers work in the South Pacific and Indian Oceans to assist countries to develop the technical capacity to improve the governance and management of oceans. He also works extensively with the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to provide scientific and technical expertise on Ecologically or Biologically Significant Areas (EBSA). The CBD program on EBSA has described 203 areas within national jurisdiction and in areas beyond national jurisdiction, and he is the Australian representative on the EBSA informal Advisory Group and the GBF Indicators ATHEG.

50 ASEAN Australia 1974-2024 | CSIRO | ANCORS Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources & Security | University of Wollongong Australia | RMIT University | Australian Government Department of Foreigh Affairs and Trade


Registrations close Thursday, 29 February 2024