Developing a Waste Policy and Action Plan for Tuvalu

Pollution problems can seem overwhelming sometimes, especially when you are a small island nation with limited resources but when you go to the drawing board with a group of experts and start at the right point, at the policy level, it can help map a way forward for a seemingly daunting task.

Last month the process to develop a Waste policy and Action Plan for Tuvalu started successfully with consultations held between various government sectors, stakeholders and communities to address the pollution problems in the island state.

The focus groups were drawn from a wide range of sectors and consultations were facilitated by the Solid Waste Management Adviser of Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), Ms. Ma Bella Guinto.

"It was really great to come together with over 40 participants from the government, private sector and community to develop Tuvalu's Waste Policy and Action Plan. The participants were quite happy to be consulted on the development of the policy," said Ms Guinto.

The action to develop the Waste Policy and Action Plan is implemented in partnership with SPREP who provides the technical support and is funded by the European Union (EU) as part of a bilateral agreement with the Government of Tuvalu.

Tuvalu Waste1

Members from the finance, the environment, health, agriculture, public works and marine departments, trade, customs, media, NGOs, rural development sector, Kaupule - the local government, private recycler, development partners, community leaders and waste service operators were all represented during the consultation workshops which were coordinated by the Solid Waste Agency under the Ministry of Home Affairs and Rural Development.

"The people of Tuvalu 'own' this process and the outcome document will reflect the vision and aspirations of the people of Tuvalu to improve the health of the environment and the people as a result of proper management of waste," said Ms. Susana Telakau, the Director of the Solid Waste Agency of Tuvalu.

Ms Ileana Miritescu, Programme Manager, Infrastructure and Natural Resources at the European Union Delegation for the Pacific, Suva, noted the strong enthusiasm from all meeting participants.

"The consultation workshops allowed participants to actively engage in strategic discussions about the current state of waste management, and to propose practical solutions for improvement."

She added: "The upcoming Waste Policy and Action Plan will be the basis for formulation of the future bilateral programme between the EU and the Government of Tuvalu planned to start in 2017".

Once the policy and action plan has been endorsed by Cabinet, institutional mechanisms will be strengthened and will allow collaborative efforts from the different sectors in dealing with waste in Tuvalu.

The Consultation Workshops in Tuvalu took place over the first week of March.

For more information contact Ms Ma Bella Guinto on bellag@sprep.org
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