The China Navigation Company (CNCo) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to address critical waste management issues in the Pacific islands.
Known as the Moana Taka Partnership, this MOU allows for CNCo vessels to carry containers of recyclable waste from eligible Pacific island ports, pro bono, to be sustainably treated and recycled in suitable ports in Asia Pacific.
“This historic partnership will be of great benefit to our Pacific islands, and one for which we are very appreciative to The China Navigation Company,” said Kosi Latu, director general of SPREP. “Our Pacific islands face an immense waste management challenge. With many geographical limitations, the Moana Taka Partnership can help us address the problem of taking our recyclable waste off island for proper recycling. This is a great step, or shall we say paddle, in the right direction.”
James Woodrow, CNCo’s managing director of CNCo said, “China Navigation has provided sustainable shipping solutions to the Pacific islands for 80 years. Today, the communities in the Pacific islands are facing some of the most pressing environmental challenges of our time and CNCo is committed to being part of the solution.”
Under this agreement, 21 Pacific island countries who have insufficient or inappropriate landfill space to store waste, have inadequate waste treatment facilities, and the financial inability to ship recyclable waste are eligible for this opportunity. The types of materials that are considered recyclable include plastics, aluminium cans, waste oil and ozone depleting substances.
The signing took place across Samoa and Singapore today to mark Global Recycling Day 2018.
“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 Erik Solheim, executive director of UN Environment.