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A Northeastern delegation, led by Policy School Director Maria Ivanova, traveled to Ottawa, Canada, in April 2024 to participate in the fourth session of the UN Intergovernmental Negotiation Committee (INC4), aimed at developing an international legally binding instrument to curb plastic pollution. The delegation included two PhD in Public Policy students—Olga Skaredina and Clara Copp-LaRocque—and Environmental Science and Policy master’s student Alexandra Carlotto. Undergraduate student and three-time Emmy winner Kylee Hendrie gathered interviews for a film project that documents the leadership roles small states play in combating plastic pollution. The Northeastern members were joined by partners from Rwanda: Innocent Nkurunziza, an artist and environmental advocate, and Peter Katanisa, a consultant at the World Bank.

Prof. Ivanova moderated an early event titled “Beyond the Plastics Treaty: Putting Policy into Practice,” which attracted over 160 participants, including NGO representatives, corporate stakeholders, and UN member state representatives. The event highlighted the urgent need for comprehensive, actionable solutions that can be implemented on a global scale.

The addition of Innocent Nkurunziza’s presence and art reflected the power of creativity in sparking innovative and sustainable alternatives, painting a vivid picture of a cleaner, more resilient world. His involvement highlighted the essential role that diverse voices and artistic insights play in shaping effective environmental policies. The Northeastern delegation’s efforts at INC4 underscored the Policy School’s commitment to fostering global partnerships and understanding essential elements in addressing environmental challenges.

Listen to Policy School Director Maria Ivanova’s interview with NPRs “Living on Earth”

Innocent Nkurunziza, Alexandra Carlotto Olga Skaredina, Clara Copp-LaRocque, Peter Katanisa, Maria Ivanova, Kylee Hendrie