Climate Watch

Stopworking In Silos: A Call For Active Partnership

Co-founder of the Pacific Ocean Litter Youth Project, Suzanne Tur­aganiwai said waste management can be promoted by recycling pro­grammes, waste minimization and other measures.
02 Oct 2022 23:06
Stopworking In  Silos: A Call For Active Partnership
Recycling on the Go Ambassadors of Jai Narayan College. Photo: Pacific Recycling Foundation

Co-founder of the Pacific Ocean Litter Youth Project, Suzanne Tur­aganiwai said waste management can be promoted by recycling pro­grammes, waste minimization and other measures.

Ms Turaganiwai has been pas­sionate about ocean stewardship and at most times turns one man’s rubbish into treasure through its display of art.

 

Awareness programs continue to be facilitated to help diminish or  to outline the importance of form­ing effective partnerships at both national and regional levels,” he said.

The discussion was an initiative of the Embassy of France in Fiji partnered by Pacific Recycling Foundation and supported by the Government of New Caledonia and BRED Bank Fiji.

 

Panelist’s included:

  • PRF Founder and Director, Am­itesh Deo
  • Pacific Island Development Fo­rum Secretary General, Solo Mara
  • Principal Environment Officer at the Department of Environment, Kavnil Lal
  • Co-founder of the Pacific Ocean Litter Youth Project, Suzanne Tura­ganiwai
  • Recycling on the Go Head Am­bassador and student of Jai Naray­an College, Ms. Hefuhelava Ka­maile.

 

INNOVATIVE IDEAS DURING CHAL­LENGING TIMES

 

For senior grade student, He­fuhelava Kamaile, leading an initia­tive of environmental stewardship is no easy task.

Recycling on the Go is a school initiative at Jai Narayan College that has 24 ambassadors involved in changing the school’s perspec­tive on the importance of recycling habits.

Despite having the passion, stu­dents have been vulnerable to name calling by their own peers.

 

“My first day on the job, early in the morning at 6.30 am I get called, ‘Oh, here comes the mother of the rubbish pickers’. That was a set­back because it was very demoral­izing for us especially when most of us has taken the initiative,” Ms Kamaile said.

“And it was something that we had a lot of interest in taking and to see a lot of students not sharing the same passion as us for Recycling on the go, made us feel rather strange and the work that we were carrying out was not appreciated.”

 

However, these comments have not deterred their spirits but a push to keep going on for the sake of a clean environment.

She also added that funding and getting approval from the school Principal is no easy task.

With so many innovative ideas like putting up notice boards on re­cycling habits and civic pride, Ms Kamaile is determined the outcome will be good.

 

“It is an ongoing issue that is heavily affecting not only our envi­ronment or beautiful beaches but our marine ecosystems,”

“Food chains are disturbed and people do not realise the severity of their actions and how their care­less actions of disposing off rub­bish all ends up in oceans, beaches, and mangroves,” she said.

Since the inception of the project in November of 2021, POLYP has collected over two tonnes of lit­ter on the USP lower campus fore­shore.

On September 17, the group had targeted three areas for a beach clean-up campaign: USP foreshore, Suva Point beach and the stretch of beach after the Fiji Maritime Academy.

“From those three places, we managed to collect 650kg of litter,” Ms Turaganiwai said.

 

PROMOTING ACTIVE PARTICIPATION

The five panellists urged indi­viduals and organisations to stop working in silos and form strong partnerships to counter challeng­es and find solutions in the waste management and recycling space.

Various stakeholders in the re­cycling sector came together to discuss challenges and ways to im­prove a better

French Ambassador to Fiji, Fran­çois-Xavier Léger said recycling is one of the important components of any action plan-involving cli­mate change and green sustain­ability.

 

“It is important that we engage ourselves in constructive dialogue that will continue to enhance the work already being undertaken by various stakeholders in the en­vironment spectrum,” Mr Léger said.

“This initiative is a goal the French Embassy in Fiji places a high emphasis on.”

Mr Léger added that the discus­sion by the various stakeholders was fully integrated in the “Green Embassy” project.

 

It was launched in 2015 ahead of COP21 by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, and sought a gradual and comprehensive initia­tive to reduce the environmental impact of France’s diplomatic rep­resentations abroad.

“The roundtable will not only pro­vide a medium for environmental stakeholders and players to talk about their own work in the areas of waste management, recycling and activism but also enable them

 

This was during the round table dis­cussion on the ‘Environment and Recy­cling Work in Fiji’ at the French Am­bassador’s residence on Wednesday evening.

Its irresponsibility contributes to cli­mate change when the added carbon-based particles get into the air espe­cially when petroleum products are being burnt.

 

The result is warmer air, creating a disastrous greenhouse effect.

Plastic litter is one of the very com­mon wastes that are discarded care­lessly.

Ms Turaganiwai has been passionate about ocean stewardship and at most times turns one man’s rubbish into treasure through its display of art.

 

“We always clean up the USP lower campus foreshore twice a week, the very next day styrofoams, plastics, household waste are washed up again on the beaches,” Ms Turaganiwai said.

 

Story By: adi.sovasiga@fijisun.com.fj



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