Halatoa Fua, Director of the Cook Islands National Environment Service and the NES team at the second Intergovernmental negotiating committee to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment is taking place in Paris France from 29 May to 2 June 2023. SPREP/ 23053004
National Environment Service director, Halatoa Fua has made a plea at the second Intergovernmental negotiating committee to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment in Paris, France.
Pacific island communities at the forefront of the impacts of the plastic
pollution crisis, every minute of the day counts in the global effort to
negotiate a legally binding instrument to address the problem.
Islands pleaded on day two of the second session of the Intergovernmental
Negotiating Committee (INC2) to develop an internationally legally binding
instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment, over an
impasse involving procedural matters.
According to SPREP (The
Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme) deadlock over Rule 38 took up much of the conference’s
time since it was opened on Monday by the President of France, Emmanuel Macron,
who described plastic pollution as a “ticking time bomb” and called for urgent
action to address the issue.
Tuesday, Fua called on the conference to move forward. The intervention
was greeted by a loud applause from hundreds of delegates at the Main Plenary
Hall of the UNESCO Headquarters.
end of today, over a billion single use plastic bottles will be produced in
this very one day. We seek your direction and leadership to move this matter
forward as quickly as possible because we are running out of time,” Fua said.
as a small island developing state, every minute counts and they cannot let procedural
matters stall their progress for the very reason why they were there.
to such consensual decisions will delay our progress in substantive
“We do not think Rule 38 should be reopened as
the provisional rules of procedure have been agreed as per the INC1 Report,”
Cook Islands plea was supported by the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS),
who also supported the proposal for informal discussions to try and resolve the
Pacific Islands are represented by the Cook Islands, Federated States of
Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa,
Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu through the support of the Government
of Australia and the United Nations.
are supported by SPREP, working with partners the Pacific Islands Forum
Secretariat, Office of the Pacific Ocean Commissioner, Environmental
Investigation Agency, and Centre for International Environmental Law,
University of Wollongong, WWF and Massey University.
the latest figures show that over 380 million tons of plastic are produced
yearly, 50 per cent of which is single-use plastic.
nine percent of the plastic manufactured is recycled, 12 per cent is incinerated,
and the rest accumulates in landfills and the environment. Most of this plastic
is washed into the Pacific Ocean, placing the lives of Pacific communities at
accumulates in the food chain, contaminating water, soil, and air. Studies have
found micro plastics in fish, a major food source for Pacific communities. It
is against this backdrop that the Cook Islands implored officials gathering in
Paris this week that there is no time to waste.