Tonga represented at Clean Pacific Roundtable meet in Fiji

NUKU’ALOFA – August 23, 2018: 9.50am (Enviro News): Tonga’s Senior Environmentalist at the Department of Environment here in Nuku’alofa, Mr Filimone Lapao’o was Tonga’s rep to the Second Clean Pacific Roundtable meeting in Suva, Fiji this week.

Held at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat complex in Nasese, the meeting ran from August 20 – 25.

It was jointly organised by partners and funders, including the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the PIFS and the European Union.

Delegates at the Suva meeting, including Tonga’s Filimone Lapao’o (far right). Photo: SPREP

Mr Lapao’o presented on the work that Tonga is doing, through the Environment department, under the Ministry of MEIDECC here, in partnership with other local partners and overseas donor agencies.

In a statement for the meeting, SPREP Director General Mr Kosi Latu said the campaign for a pollution-free Pacific requires a strong united effort.

“Our voyage to a pollution-free Pacific requires a strong united crew navigating through the challenges supporting one another.  The journey ahead may pose many trials given the myriad of waste challenges if we work together we can achieve great outcomes for our Pacific islands and our planet.  This Clean Pacific Roundtable is one of our many stops on our chart to take stock and strengthen our collaboration as we find ways towards a pollution-free Pacific, in great partnership.” 

The JICA Director for Environmental Management Team 1 at the organisation’s Global Environment Department said they will continue to support solid waste management in the region.

Mr Minpei Ito said this was important.

 “Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) through J-PRISM II continues to support solid waste management in the region with the Overall Purpose of Strengthening the Human and Institutional Capacity Base in the region. J-PRISM II will achieve this goal by supporting the implementation of the Pacific Regional Waste and Pollution Management Strategy 2016-2025 (Cleaner Pacific 2025), with the emphasis of Pacific to Pacific cooperation.”

The EU said they were proud to be supporting the Pacific countries in their work.

Mr Christoph Wagner, Head of Cooperation Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific, said improved waste and pollution management services were important for the Pacific.

“The European Union is proud to support the Pacific countries in their work towards the goals of The Cleaner Pacific 2025.  The upcoming flagship Pacific–European Union Waste Management Programme (PacWaste Plus) will result in improved waste and pollution management services, systems and capacities, which in turn will improve public health and protect the environment.  The Clean Pacific Roundtable is a vital platform for consolidating and further strengthening collaboration and coordination between countries and various partners. Only by joining hands and working in partnership we can achieve a ‘Cleaner Pacific’”. –  

The inaugural Clean Pacific Roundtable was held in Suva, Fiji in July 2016. It was a successful event which attracted more than 100 stakeholders in the waste sector of the Pacific.  An Outcome Statement was released after the event outlining the priorities in the sector. This statement was noted during the 27th Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) Meeting held in Niue in September 2016.

This year’s event enabled the monitoring and progress reporting of Cleaner Pacific 2025; facilitated dialogue and networking in the region on waste issues and initiatives and explore additional investments and funding opportunities towards a safer and sustainable waste management systems; and helped in coordinating donor mechanisms in the region and optimise use of investment and funding allocation for the waste and pollution sector.

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