Pacific Populations Urged To Make Better Consumer Choices To Keep Pacific Clean

“The problem is that we are seeing a lot of beautiful aspects of our region being destroyed and impacted by the actions of mankind, and unfortunately, that’s you and me"

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Pacific countries are being urged to make better consumer choices to keep the Pacific Clean. The call comes from the Director General of the Secretariat of Pacific Regional Environmental Programme (SPREP), Namulauulu Leota Kosi Latu, as stakeholders in the Pacific waste sector count down to the Third Clean Pacific Roundtable (3rdCPRT), scheduled for 16 – 25 November 2021.

“For many years our ancestors lived in a traditional society but in the last couple of decades we’ve witnessed a shift from a traditional society to a consumer society,” Mr Latu said.

“The result is the influx of commodities and goods which are designed and packaged for storage life and convenience. This has resulted in the unprecedented increase of wastes. The increased pressures of human induced activities such as pollution, population growth and coastal developments coupled with the adverse impact of climate change threatens our environment, social and economic resilience.”

This trend cannot be allowed to continue and the SPREP Director General has called on all stakeholders to act now.

“We must promote recycling and adopt a more innovative approach to using traditional alternatives,” he said. “This is consistent with the Cleaner Pacific 2025 call for a shift from a linear economy to a circular economy where we import commodities that can be used, recycled and reduced to recyclable waste. To make this happen we need to engage and incentivize the private sector and empower civil societies by creating opportunities for employment.”

Facilitated by SPREP, with members and partners, the 3rd CPRT aims to facilitate networking and dialogue, improve donor coordination, mobilise technical and financial resources and to develop monitoring and reporting methods to monitor progress of the Cleaner Pacific 2025. This year’s roundtable is a partnership between the Government of New Caledonia as host with Acotred Pacific, the cluster of Pacific waste collection and treatment professionals formed in 2011, and SPREP.

Mr Latu is one of the key speakers in the programme’s opening day, and as preparations continue towards the event, he said the Pacific region couldn’t sit idle.

“The problem is that we are seeing a lot of beautiful aspects of our region being destroyed and impacted by the actions of mankind, an unfortunately, that’s you and me. We need to do something. I’m told that sixty percent of the global tuna trade emanates from this region, in other words we are feeding the world with our tuna resources. I’m also told that many of the biodiversity we have here in the Pacific is endemic, we have low-lying atolls that are unique, beaches that are pristine.

“Act now. This means at a personal level, we have to change the way we think and the way we behave when it comes to waste. In our pursuit of a Cleaner Pacific, taking little steps will make a big difference.”

The Clean Pacific Roundtable is the regional mechanism that empowers regional and national cooperation for the implementation of the Pacific Regional Waste and Pollution Management Strategy 2016-2025 (Cleaner Pacific 2025).  This year’s meeting will focus on the following key themes:
•    Creating a safe Pacific Circular Economy
•    Waste industry-based enterprise with enhanced public-private partnerships
•    Bridging people and waste: Enhancing consciousness in managing waste

The virtual event will be held over two weeks, starting 16 November, with the Roundtable sessions occurring on Tuesday 23 November and Wednesday 24 November 2021.  Close to a 100 participants from the government sector, waste and environmental practitioners, development partners, private sector, community, NGOs, academic and research institutions, are expected to take part.

Anyone interested in attending is invited to register now. Visit: https://www.cleanpacificroundtable.com/cprt3-history

ABOUT THE 3rd CPRT
The Third Clean Pacific Roundtable is a partnership event supported by New Caledonia, Acotred Pacific, Agence Francaise de Development (AFD), Australian Aid (AUS Aid), European Union (EU), Fonds Pacifique, Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA), UN Environment Program (UNEP), Province SUD and Province NORD.

Source: South Pacific Regional Environmental Programme (SPREP).