Committing to Sustainable Waste Actions in the Pacific (SWAP) Project
The EURO 3 million SWAP Project funded through the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) will be implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) by virtue of an Agreement signed in 2020. The project aims to improve sanitation, environmental, social, and economic conditions in Pacific Island countries and territories through proper waste management.
About our Pacific
The Pacific Islands offer some of the richest areas of biodiversity on the planet. Fragile ecosystems of coral reefs, mangroves, lagoons, and tropical forests are found throughout the Pacific Region. These areas, and their island communities, are under increasing pressure from development and growing human population, and the social and economic pressures associated with this growth.
Increased populations and urbanisation have led to increased product importation, production, and waste generation. Much of the waste generated through these imported products cannot economically be managed due to issues of small and isolated populations; economic volatility; geographical isolation from large economies; limited institutional, financial and human capacity; and inadequacy of infrastructure to capture and process waste materials.
Poor waste management poses risks to our Pacific Island economies, as most rely heavily on clean environments for agricultural activities and a vibrant tourism industry. Polluted and degraded environments pose a significant threat to the Pacific islands.
Spanning four years (2020-2023), the SWAP Project will address cost effective and sustainable management of waste and pollution. It will contribute to the:
- Prevention of environmental degradation through proper management of wastes
- Development of resilience to climate change
- Conservation of ecosystem and biodiversity
- Improvement of the quality of life of the people dependent on the quality of the natural environment for subsistence such as fishing, tourism and agricultural sectors.
How does SWAP achieve this?
The SWAP contributes to the regional delivery of the Cleaner Pacific 2025; and enhancing initiatives under existing regional waste projects such as PacWaste Plus, J-PRISM2 the Pacific Ocean Litter Project (POLP) and the ISLANDS Project. This avoids duplication, optimises investment, and leverage lessons learnt and outcomes from work carried out.
The SWAP Project explores interventions for used oil, disaster waste, marine debris, and sustainable financing. Interventions range from training programmes to in-country pilot projects.
Pilot projects would include:
- Support to Advanced Recovery Systems for sustainable financing,
- Development of national management plans, storage facilities, collection, treatment and recycling, and disposal systems for used oil management.
- Coastal clean-ups and data collection for marine debris management, and
- Scoping study, rehabilitation and climate proofing of selected disposal facilities for disaster waste management
Strengthening these interventions will be a knowledge exchange through a Community of Practice where experts and practitioners will gather to discuss issues surrounding the waste sector and showcase and share best practices to further build the capacity of the region.
Seven Pacific islands benefit from this project which include Fiji, French Polynesia, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu, and Wallis and Futuna. New Caledonia is also involved in the project as technical support, in the thematic area of sustainable financing in order to share experience of the not-for-profit eco-organism TRECODEC , created in 2008, whose mission is to limit the impact due to the pollution of regulated waste by offering treatment and valorisation solutions.
The actions included in SWAP project have robust links to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs primarily addressed by the project include:
- Goal 11: sustainable cities and communities
- Goal12: responsible consumption and production
- Goal13: climate action
- Goal14: life below water