Loau Solamalemalo Keneti Sio, Honourable Minister of Education Sports & Culture and Chairman of the Pacific Games Committee.
Her Excellency Ms Sara Moriarty, Australian Ambassador to Samoa.
Mr Pati Gagau, First Secretary (Development), New Zealand High Commission.
Mr. Rob Contractor - Deputy Consul General Auckland and Deputy High Commissioner Apia.
Mr. Sefanaia Nawadra - Head UNEP Pacific Office.
Talofa Lava and good morning to you all,
We are gathered today to witness the signing of this MoU between the Pacific Games Office and SPREP as a representative of the Greening of the Games Committee. The Greening of the Games Committee has been working hard to green the games, for a BEAUTIFUL SAMOA: KEEP IT CLEAN and PLASTIC FREE.
A plastic free games – what it means.
SPREP has worked with its committee members to seek funding to procure infrastructure for water for everyone. The message of NO single-use plastic water bottles provided, No single-use plastic water bottles at the games is aligned with the Government of Samoa’s policy of addressing plastic pollution that commenced with the banning of single-use plastic bags, straws from January this year. This commitment is made possible through a number of key partners: Australia, France, New Zealand, United Kingdom and UNEP. This commitment to this initiative is WST$400,000.00 which is received from our partners and donors.
This reflects partners and partnerships that are passionate to remove the impact of plastic pollution nationally, regionally and globally. Pure Pacific Water and Samoa Pure Water have been contracted to supply clean, cold, filtered, UV treated water through 350 water stations in total across 22 sporting venues for 27 sports. Water is to be supplied to over 4000 athletes, and about 12,000 spectators on a daily basis over 2weeks at the games.
The overall objective is to have a paradigm shift for addressing plastics for the games. That this would be the normal way for future Pacific Games. This efforts are complemented by other funding efforts by other partners who are providing reusable bottles so there will be no need for use of single-use water bottles at the games. We hope that this would be good lessons for the Solomon Islands in 2023 as hosts for the next Pacific Games. The Solomon Islands Prime Minister has already requested assistance for a Greening Solomon Islands Pacific Games.
In addition to removing single use Plastic water bottles for the Pacific Games we also worked with the Pacific Games Office and MNRE to green the procurement guidelines for food, which means there will be no styrofoam use at the games. Instead alternatives such as cardboard and paper based alternatives will be used. These efforts will be complimented by other innovations such as plates, spoons, bowls made from a variety of palm tree species such as the beetle nut which are heat processed.
The 3rd component to the Greening of the Games support involves working closely with MNRE and PGO in terms of waste management. This will involve diversion of waste from landfill through recycling and food waste for piggeries and farms. There will be a detailed audit of the waste generated from the games which will tell a story through a score board of the total waste produced, total recyclables, and total food waste. We hope this will help games organisers implement cost effective measures for future Pacific Games.
Other actions taken to green the games include Carbon Footprint Offsets. This will involve various stakeholders to offset their carbon footprint through planting of trees. For example through the Chef De Missions. All of the participating countries were requested to plant trees in their countries 50days out from the games to offset their carbon footprint. These efforts are further complimented by Samoa through MNRE 2Million tree planting initiative which will allow anyone including athletes to plant trees in Samoa at the Tuanaimato reserve.
These efforts are being supported through a targeted and concerted communications plan joint efforts by the greening of the games sub-committee – MNRE, SPREP, Pacific Games Office, STA, MWCSD, MESC, SRWMA, which is aimed at raising the awareness of the wider population in terms of the importance of a plastic free and green games.
At the end of the games these water stations will be gifted to the GoS through MESC to allow several schools to make use of these assets. This means that these schools will have the opportunity to continue the message of a free plastic society and at the same time providing clean water to children. This is an important component of this partnership.
To conclude we like to acknowledge and thank all of the donors and partners who have generously supported this initiative and also the Pacific Games Office, MNRE, MWCSD, STA, MESC, SRWMA who comprise the Greening of the Games Sub-committee on the Greening of the Games.