NATION

Collaboration To Battle Pollution ‘Mandatory

A global foundation that fights the plastic pollution of our oceans has been praised for the initiative. The Race for Water Foundation was praised by Minister for Fish­eries Semi Koroilavesau
09 Jan 2019 11:00
Collaboration To Battle Pollution ‘Mandatory
Second Captain Annabelle Boudinot with Minister for Fisheries Semi Koroilavesau on board the catamaran berthed at the Port Denarau on January 8, 2018. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

A global foundation that fights the plastic pollution of our oceans has been praised for the initiative.

The Race for Water Foundation was praised by Minister for Fish­eries Semi Koroilavesau when he welcomed the crew of its catama­ran Odyssey at Port Denarau Ma­rina, Nadi, yesterday.

Mr Koroilavesau applauded the “Race for Water Foundation” and its partners for its vision and for being proactive in taking the lead to deal with the ever-pressing problem of plastic and ocean pol­lution.

“It is Fiji’s hope that this experi­ence will be one of many,” he said.

“It has definitely forged the plat­form to share findings and experi­ences; learn from each other and more importantly your stopover has solidified our collective quest to address the issues of plastic and marine pollution.

“Fiji like any other island nation has relied on the ocean and its re­sources for generations.

“The ocean and its resources have sustained the past genera­tion, and the present.

“We hope that these innovative activities will harness collabora­tion, which will ensure that we continue to sustain the ocean and its resources for the future gen­eration.

“To be frank, for far too long dependents of the ocean like Fiji have sat in the periphery of dia­logue and discussions focused on the oceans and the threat of plas­tic pollution.”

Mr Koroilavesau said the initia­tive spearheaded by the Race for Water Foundation “is one which dovetails with Fiji’s priorities”.

“The reality is that Fiji and oth­ers alike should be at the heart of these activities,” he said.

Mr Koroilavesau said addition­ally, at the national level, there were legislations and policies in place to control the disposal of non-degradable pollutants such as plastics.

“Tax levies on single use plas­tics, fine on littering, awareness programs within schools and the general public, beach clean ups and mangrove planting are ways in which Fiji is implementing its commitment to revive our ocean at a national level,” he said.

As a small island state with lim­ited resources, challenges cur­rently faced by Fiji include;

The identification of alterna­tion packaging;

Identification of better mecha­nism for recycling;

Generating revenue from non-degradable pollutants; and

Generating energy from such pollutants.

The Race for Water Foundation is dedicated to the preservation of the water and the oceans in par­ticular.

In 2010, Swiss entrepreneur Mar­co Simeoni created the Lausanne-based foundation and devoted eve­ry bit of his entrepreneurial fibre to the service of the oceans.

Passionate about the sea, in 2015 he decided to launch a scientific and environmental expedition, the Race for Water Odyssey, to make the first global assessment of the plastic pollution of our oceans.

The Odyssey arrived in Fiji be­fore Christmas last year and will depart for New Caledonia on the 19th of this month.

Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedback: waisean@fijisun.com.fj

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