UNEP Southeast Asia plastics project lead Maggie Lee returns to WWF

The former Procter & Gamble executive takes on a role as WWF’s APAC lead for global seafood traceability based in Bangkok.

Maggie Lee, United Nations Environment Programme
Maggie Lee presenting at a TedTalk while at Procter & Gamble. Image: TedTalks on YouTube

Maggie Lee has left United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) after a year working on the organisation’s plastic and marine litter programme for Southeast Asia.

She has moved to World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), where she worked before moving to UNEP in 2019, and is now contracted as Asia Pacific lead for global seafood traceability.

While at UNEP, Lee worked on a projects including SEA Circular, a programme to inspire market-based solutions and policies to tackle marine plastic pollution.

Lee previously worked for WWF-Singapore as head of market transformation, on projects including the NGO’s plastic reduction programme Plastic ACTion (PACT) and in sustainable seafood certification. She will now work with the global team on driving the adoption of traceability in regional seafood supply chains to eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

She will continue to be based in Bangkok.

Her appointment comes a month after Japan announced a new regulation mandating seafood traceability to combat IUU fishing. The European Union already has a similar regulation in place, while the United States has made food safety-based policy amendments that align with a sustainable seafood market.

WWF and the Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability are pushing for seafood traceability mechanisms to be the norm in Asia Pacific and elsewhere over the next few years, Lee told Eco-Business.

“The GDST last year issued groundbreaking new industry standards that will facilitate trade in seafood while increasing supply chain accountability and help ensure that only legally producted products are able to reach markets,” she explained.

Before WWF, Lee spent more than six years with consumer goods firm Procter & Gamble, first in Hong Kong in product safety and sustainability and later in Singapore as senior scientist, scientific communications and sustainability programme lead.

She has also worked in regulatory affairs and quality assurance for Nestle and Aeon.

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