Funafuti, TUVALU – August 15, 2019: 2pm (EU): The European Union (EU) has strengthened Tuvalu’s capacity to sustainably manage waste by providing the low-lying atoll Pacific nation with its first waste Transfer Station in the capital, Funafuti yesterday.
Tuvalu is one of the most vulnerable countries to the effects of climate change and natural disasters. It is also fragile and highly vulnerable to the effects of waste and pollution resulting in adverse outcomes for human health and well-being livelihoods and the environment.
The majority of waste in Tuvalu is disposed into landfills and there is a pressing need to divert this waste from the landfills with the objective of exporting it from the country for reusing or recycling.
The Transfer Station will help address these challenges by supporting the Government of Tuvalu in its efforts to reducing the waste related environment degradation. It will provide not only a more sustainable, but also a safer waste management system, for the benefit of the Tuvaluan population.
While commissioning the EU-funded Transfer Station in the margins of the 50th Pacific Islands Forum,European External Action Service (EEAS), Deputy Secretary General, Mr. Christian Leffler, said the EU and Tuvalu share a vision for sustainable development in line with the Agenda 2030. Particularly promoting the principles of circular economy is one of the EU’s key priorities in the Pacific.
”The EU is proud to support this vital infrastructure development through its Budget Support programme,” Mr Leffler said.
“Globally, every year millions of tons of waste end up in the ocean and it is estimated that by 2050 there could be more plastic than fish in the ocean. We can no longer afford to waste precious resources by discarding the goods that we produce. This Transfer Station is an important milestone towards a more effective management of waste and protecting the environment. This sets an example as a best practice, not only for the Pacific, but also beyond.”
The EU’s bilateral cooperation with Tuvalu focuses on sustainable waste management through a sector budget support programme worth AUD 9.5 million (EUR 5.9 million).
Mr Leffler said he is pleased to see great progress made by countries in the Pacific, such as Tuvalu in adopting concrete measures in the area of sustainable waste management, resulting from the EU-Tuvalu cooperation.