Submitted by admin on Tue, 09/09/2014 - 23:15
September 9, 2014 by admin
Ambassador Shibuta,
Director Seth from UNDESA,
Senior Government Officials from the Pacific region,
Officials of the Japanese Government
Honoured guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good morning, it is a privilege and honour to welcome you to the campus of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme, here in Apia, Samoa.

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The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) is the Pacific region's major intergovernmental organisation charged with protecting and managing the region's environment and natural resources.

We are proud to work in partnership with JICA/J-PRISM with, and on behalf, of our 21 Member countries and territories to help ensure sustainable development for present and future generations.

I'm sure you will all agree that this 3rd Small Islands Developing States – or SIDS -Conference has been a huge success.

I have taken a number of messages from this landmark conference.

First, the vulnerability of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), which was emphasised in all the keynote speeches at the Opening Session on Monday.

Second, the need to develop SIDS specific responses to address key issues in SIDS. We are seeing this in the Pacific with tailored approaches to adapt to climate change and disasters, to develop renewable energy and to better manage solid and hazardous waste.

Third, the need for partnerships but, more than that, partnerships which are sustainable and durable

The JPRISM event has addressed all of these three issues – we have ticked all the boxes.

JPRISM is addressing the key issue of waste management which affects the sustainable development of all Pacific Island countries

It is a tailored response to Pacific needs and an excellent example of Pacific responses to Pacific problems.

Finally JPRISM is an example of a sustainable and durable partnership, as it is long term and it is based on partnership between GoJ and JICA, SPREP and Pacific countries, and resources are available to make it work.

Poor waste management has negative impacts on the region's environment, as well as on public health and water resources, as well as on fisheries, agriculture, tourism, trade and the quality of life in general.

It affects all sectors of island life.

As a consequence, improved waste and pollution management is an urgent priority for SPREP and for its Pacific island members.

It is important to recognise that the threats arising from pollution and poor waste management are elevated by:

• the increasing quantities of waste generated by economic and population growth in the region;
• the limited availability of suitable land for waste management facilities on most small islands and atolls;
• the remoteness of many Pacific island countries;
• and the small and often sparse populations of Pacific islands, even in regional centres, which potentially limit economies of scale for local waste recycling.

If poor waste management is to be improved in the region, we need to take action now, and manage waste with the 3Rs in mind.

We must collectively REDUCE and conserve our use of resources and mimimise waste bi-products
We must collectively REUSE goods where ever possible to reduce waste production
And we must RECYCLE goods where ever possible to minimize waste generation.

Recycling waste is a critical component of the sustainable solid waste management process, but this is not usually practical on small islands and on atolls. Therefore, RETURNING waste, generally to a developed nation, for recycling, is an essential component of long-term sustainable waste management practices in the region.

JICA/J-PRISM and SPREP have been actively promoting the "RETURN of recyclable materials from Pacific islands for environmentally sound recycling" and promoting "the RETURN of organic material back to the soil" to minimize waste disposed at landfills.
Development of international collaborations and partnerships, including regional and sub-regional cooperation and public-private-partnerships (PPPs), are important to enable the "RETURN" component of the RECYCLING step in waste management to be realized, and to allow it to be ongoing and sustainable.

This RETURN step is particularly important for the management and ecologically sustainable recycling of island wastes such as E-waste, aluminium, used oil, scrap metal and plastics.

This morning's speakers will present a range of concepts connected with sustainable waste management including regional approaches, public-private partnership options, recycling and return options and capacity building options for your consideration.

I hope you find this both informative, and also a trigger to prompt your discussions.

It is my honour to chair todays Parallel Event and I am looking forward to your discussions.

Thank you