Pacific Island Countries Discussing Pollution Prevention
Representatives from 13 Pacific island countries and territories have gathered in Brisbane, Australia this week to review and update the Pacific Ocean Pollution Prevention Programme (PACPOL) strategy.
This strategy, implemented in partnership by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO), defines activities to protect the public health, safety, environment and natural resources of the Pacific islands from the effects of marine pollution.
Kosi Latu, Deputy Director General of SPREP, said: “With a huge volume of ship traffic passing through the Pacific Ocean, all these issues pose a threat to the people and the environment in our region. Through initiatives like PACPOL, Pacific island countries and territories are better able to protect the marine and coastal environment, the natural and cultural resources of island nations as well as the general safety of the public.”
At the opening of the five-day workshop, Simon Moore, Manager of International Relations at AMSA, spoke about the trans-boundary nature of marine pollution and the need to tackle the issue through coordinated approaches in both prevention and control: “We are brought together through our willingness to better protect the marine and coastal environment – the natural and cultural resources – of island nations in the region. We must remain conscious that there is great potential for us to work together as individual states and territories to progress regional priorities.”
The participants and observers to this workshop include representatives from SPREP, AMSA, Australian Government Department of Environment, Maritime New Zealand, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.