The Fiji Times

Fiji joins plas­tic fight

- By PAULINI CURUQARA

FIJI has joined a group of na­tions fo­cused on in­cu­bat­ing and fa­cil­i­tat­ing lo­cal, re­gional and global projects for re­duc­ing plas­tic pol­lu­tion.

Fiji, along with Cu­ra­cao and Sey­chelles are part of the Com­mit­ment Ac­cel­er­a­tor for Plas­tic Pol­lu­tion (CAPP) pro­gram that brings to­gether trans­parency, com­mu­nity and ac­tion to re­duce and elim­i­nate plas­tic waste.

Min­is­ter for En­vi­ron­ment, Wa­ter­ways and Agri­cul­ture, Dr Ma­hen­dra Reddy said as Fiji was prob­a­bly com­ing out of the cri­sis it was fac­ing with COVID-19, the coun­try was also look­ing at is­sues of health and en­vi­ron­ment.

“This is es­pe­cially im­por­tant for small is­land na­tions like us (Fiji), who of­ten bear the brunt but are not the cause of some of these macro con­se­quences, yet whose mit­i­gat­ing mea­sures can in­spire the world,” he said.

“One such sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment do­main is to en­sure cleaner rivers, wa­ter­ways and the ocean, by fight­ing plas­tic pol­lu­tion.

“Fiji has taken sev­eral ad­mirable ini­tia­tives and strides through the Min­istry of Wa­ter­ways and En­vi­ron­ment to main­tain cleaner streets and cleaner oceans.

“It is our mis­sion to make en­vi­ron­men­tal im­prove­ments at all lev­els, and we are driven by our many stake­holder in­ter­ests. Ex­em­plars in­clude the Oceans Au­dit Pro­grams, Our Hotspot Watch Pro­gram, Lit­ter Think Tanks etc.

“We part­ner with profit, non-profit, other govern­ment agen­cies and the academia and knowl­edge in­sti­tu­tions.

“One main ob­sta­cle to suc­cess is that com­mit­ments to fight plas­tic pol­lu­tion of­ten do not lead to the level of ac­tion re­quired and the im­pact ex­pected on the ground, and of course that suc­cess­ful ap­proaches and stake­hold­ers do not al­ways sur­face.

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“In or­der to help mo­ti­vate en­gaged im­prove­ments in this space, Fiji is join­ing this flag­ship group of coun­tries (in­clud­ing Cu­ra­cao and Sey­chelles) led by pas­sion­ate pro­fes­sion­als with com­ple­men­tary ex­per­tise who have joined forces to cre­ate the CAPP to en­sure that im­pact is made through trans­parency, data and com­mu­nity build­ing.”

He added that Fiji is proud to be an early col­lab­o­ra­tor join­ing the CAPP of flag­ship of na­tions.

“This pro­gram will help de­feat plas­tic pol­lu­tion through com­mu­nity, trans­parency and well in­formed, co-or­di­nated ac­tion.”

The man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Ocean Re­cov­ery Al­liance, Doug Woodring, thanked the Fi­jian Govern­ment for its tremen­dous sup­port.

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