History in the making as first Clean Pacific Roundtable opens in Suva

25 July, 2016: Suva was the venue of an historic occasion today with the opening of the first Clean Pacific Roundtable, a gathering of national representatives, donors, partners and other key stakeholders involved in waste management and pollution control in Pacific island countries and territories.

The Roundtable is coordinated by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) with generous support from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the European Union.

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From left to right, Mr Joshua Wycliffe (Government of Fiji), Mr Kosi Latu (SPREP), Mr Shiro Amano (JICA) and Mr Jesús Laviña (European Union) at the opening of the Clean Pacific Roundtable. Photo: A.Carvan/SPREP

The Roundtable was officially opened by Mr Joshua Wycliffe, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Local Government, Housing and Environment for the Fiji Government. In his opening address, Mr Wycliffe expressed his pleasure at Fiji having the opportunity to host the first Clean Pacific Roundtable, and noted the importance of the event to all Pacific island countries and territories:

"Waste and Pollution Management is an issue for all in the Pacific region and likewise for Fiji. Improper waste management and inadequate pollution control measures can further exacerbate threats to climate change, impact sustainable development, muddle disaster risk reduction efforts, affect tourism, and worryingly affect our marine resources – the only source of proteins for many low lying Pacific Island nations."

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Director General of SPREP, Mr Kosi Latu, delivers his welcoming remarks to more than 80 participants at the Clean Pacific Roundtable. Photo: A.Carvan/SPREP

In his welcoming remarks, SPREP's Director General, Mr Kosi Latu, encouraged delegates to take full advantage of the dialogue and networking opportunities that the meeting offers:

"The Roundtable is a forum to share experiences and to disseminate information. We want to hear from you, not just about the challenges, but about the innovative solutions that you have had to adopt to address these challenges. We also want to make sure that whatever we do is aligned completely with the priorities of our member countries."

The Roundtable is an important mechanism for the implementation of the Pacific Regional Waste Management and Pollution Control Strategy 2016-2025 – known as Cleaner Pacific 2025 – which was adopted by the Twenty-sixth SPREP Meeting of Officials in September 2015.

Mr Shiro Amano, former Chief Advisor of the JICA-funded Japanese Technical Cooperation Project for Promotion of Regional Initiative on Solid Waste Management in Pacific Island Countries (J-PRISM) project, explains that the Roundtable is one of the mechanisms through which the Cleaner Pacific 2025 Strategy will be brought into action:

"We were proud to work with the Pacific island region and partners to develop this new strategy that will guide work on waste management and pollution control through to 2025, we look forward to seeing the impact of this strategy, from the viewpoint of sustainability, which as we know, will rely on the implementation and support by people and partnerships to make a difference."

Head of Cooperation at the European Union Delegation for the Pacific, Mr Christoph Wagner said:

"The European Union remains committed and will continue to support Pacific countries to implement Cleaner Pacific 2025. We view this Clean Pacific Roundtable as an essential platform that consolidates and further strengthens collaboration and coordination between countries and various partners supporting achieving a cleaner Pacific."

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Group photo of participants at the first Clean Pacific Roundtable in Suva. Photo: A.Carvan/SPREP

The inaugural Clean Pacific Roundtable is being held from 25 - 28 July 2016 at the Holiday Inn, Suva, Fiji. For further information, please visit:
https://www.sprep.org/clean-pacific-roundtable



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