The Fiji Times

Fiji joins plastic fight


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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