Moana Taka Partnership
The 26 Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICT) represented in the region by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), the regional coordinating organisation of UNEP dedicated to the protection and sustainable development of the Pacific Islands’ environment, are responsible for managing 10% of the world’s oceans. Their eight million population is almost wholly dependent on imports and have limited land mass and few options to properly process or recycle waste on the islands.
The PICT has amassed a huge amount of waste, much of it hazardous, and includes large amount of plastics collecting in their overflowing landfills. These are being washed into the surrounding seas when typhoons come through. Waste also continually enters the region on ocean currents from fishing vessels and from cruise ships and container ships. It is not commercially viable for the PICT to ship out / locally recycle these waste streams.
CNCo and SPREP signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in March 2018 to address critical waste management issues in the Pacific Islands under the project Moana Taka Partnership. Under this project, CNCo provides both containers and ocean freight carriage, on a free of charge basis, for certain type of recyclable waste from PICT to be sustainably treated and recycled in pre-selected and approved suitable and competent facilities in Asia Pacific.
The project started in the beginning of 2018 and CNCo and SPREP focused on raising awareness of the programme in the region and piloting a couple of shipments as well as establishing a Project Charter and setting up a governance system in place. The two shipments took place in 2018:
More shipments will take place in 2019 as the programme is gaining momentum.
“Better waste management is absolutely critical for Pacific island nations. Landfills should be the last option and throwing it all in the ocean is not an option. We need to innovate, and this kind of public-private partnership is the way forward. Only when we work together can we overcome one of the biggest environmental challenges of our time,” said Mr Erik Solheim, Executive Director of UN Environment.
James Woodrow, CNCo MD and Simon Bennett, GM, Sustainable Development at the MOU signing in Singapore.
Kosi Latu, Director General of SPREP, signing the MOU in Samoa.
Executive Director of UN Environment