Sustainable Waste Management in SIDS Discussed at 3R Forum

19 March 2013: On the sidelines of the Fourth Regional 3R (reduce, reuse, recycle) Forum in Asia and the Pacific, 30 small island developing States (SIDS) exchanged lessons learned from the Japanese Technical Cooperation Project for Promotion of Regional Initiative on Solid Waste (J-PRISM) Management in Pacific Island Countries, funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) since 2000.

Convened in Ha Noi, Viet Nam, from 18-20 March 2013, the roundtable session. titled "3Rs as the basis for Sustainable Waste Management in SIDS," included participants from Fiji, Kiribati, the Maldives, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga and Tuvalu.

Chaired by Apisai Ielemia, Tuvalu's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Trades, Tourism, Environment and Labour, discussions concentrated on the ongoing experiences of Fiji, Palau and Tonga with waste policies under J-PRISM. The project includes strengthening the capacity of human resources in SIDS, developing institutional systems and exchanging Japan's technology and experiences.

Representatives from J-PRISM noted that SIDS face common challenges, such as geographical isolation and difficult access, limited land space, remoteness, and economic dependency on other regions, consequently requiring specific waste management policies. They highlighted the inadequacy of mass import, consumption and disposal of waste in the Pacific islands.

Calling for a significant reduction of waste materials in this region, participants also observed  the fundamental challenge of changing mindsets regarding waste. [3R Forum Webpage] [IISD RS Story on 3R Forum] [JICA/J-PRISM Brochure] [IISD RS Sources]