Launch of INC factsheets
Waste Management and Pollution Control

5 September 2023, Apia – A series of factsheets aimed at supporting Pacific Island negotiators as they navigate through the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) process to negotiate a new International legally-binding instrument (ILBI) to end plastic pollution have officially been launched.  

The 14 factsheets, developed as part of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme’s (SPREP) support to Pacific negotiators, were launched during an INC briefing given for Pacific Island delegates attending the 31st SPREP Meeting of Officials which kicks off this week. 

The Pacific is currently gearing up for the third Negotiating Committee Meeting (INC-3) in Nairobi, having already been to INC-1 in Uruguay in 2022 and INC-2 in Paris earlier this year. The first two INCs have considered the basis of the treaty creation, and the scope of the instrument, the third INC will commence negotiations on the text of the treaty, based on the  zero draft Treaty text having been released today. 

According to SPREP’s PacWastePlus Programme Manager, Mr Bradley Nolan, SPREP is helping Members to ensure their national positions are based in science and developed through an informed and evidence-based position.  Having worked with members to understand their issues and concerns, and to ensure they are resourced to advocate on the international stage. 

“We support Members to consider the elements of the issues identified from the first two INCs, and preparatory meetings, to provide objective, scientifically accurate advice, enabling  Members to make evidence-based decisions on how they would like the Treaty to be drafted.” 

“We have been working with several partners who have stepped in to lend their expertise to support our Pacific negotiators through the drafting of these factsheets. The factsheets cover a range of issues, from plastic science, plastic alternatives, the impacts of plastics on the environment and many more,” Mr Nolan added. 

One of those partners, according to Mr Nolan, is Massey University, which is coordinating scientists from the Scientist Coalition to produce eight factsheets on various elements of plastics science. One of the professors at Massey University who has been assisting with the development of the factsheets sits on the Scientists Coalition which consists of more than 250 scientists globally who are working together to provide up-to-date and appropriate science to inform the Treaty context. 

Other technical agencies and partners have joined SPREP to develop factsheets, including the Environmental Investigation Agency, the World Wildlife Fund, the Centre for International Environmental Law, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, and other partners. 

“We started this endeavour attempting to develop only eight factsheets and we’re very thankful to our partners and technical agencies who have come on board and have allowed us to launch 14 factsheets at the 31st SPREP Meeting of Officials, with six more factsheets currently in the design phase and two more to be developed, making it a total of 22 factsheets,” Mr Nolan said. 

The factsheets are now available online on the PacWastePlus website and can be accessed as this link

The 31st SPREP Meeting of Officials and associated meetings are taking place at Taumeasina Island Resort in Samoa this week, from 4-8 September 2023. The meetings are guided by the theme: “SPREP@30th Sustainable, transformative and resilient for a Blue Pacific.”  

The 31st SPREP Meeting of Officials and associated meetings bring together SPREP's 21 Pacific Island Member countries, 5 Metropolitan Members and partners to discuss strategic issues pertaining to the organisation, and to approve the 2024-2025 work plan. The 21 Pacific Island Member countries and territories of SPREP are: American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Vanuatu and Wallis and Futuna. The five Metropolitan members of SPREP are: Australia, France, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States of America. 

In our efforts to fulfil our vision of ‘a resilient Pacific environment, sustaining our livelihoods and natural heritage in harmony with our cultures’, SPREP is extremely grateful to our valued Members, development partners, donors, our CROP family, and stakeholders.  

For more information on the 31SM, please contact: [email protected]