Recognizing the serious implications of the plastics crisis on Pacific island countries, the Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) along with other regional organisations, civil societies, the private sector, and key stakeholders are participating in the UNDP Pacific’s (Fiji Office) Plastic Circularity Systemic Design Workshop.
In acknowledging the initiatives carried out by SPTO in the area of plastic waste, SPTO was allowed to showcase products created by four women from Galoa village, who shared their story of attending the Pacific Tourism Waste Action Initiative (PTWAI) workshop and the skills earned which has helped in creating income for them.
Plastics repurposing through PTWAI aligns with the goals of SPTO’s Pacific Sustainable Tourism Policy Framework (PSTPF), which seeks to mobilise collective action towards achieving more resilient, prosperous and inclusive tourism industry by 2030.
SPTO CEO Christopher Cocker noted the importance of SPTO’s involvement in such initiatives, adding that innovative and inclusive approaches to waste management is critically important for resource intensive sectors such as tourism.
“The PTWAI offers an alternative and inclusive means of turning trash to cash and reducing the waste footprint of tourism on the environment whilst also promoting circular and green economies through community involvement”, he said.
“By participating in this workshop, SPTO can offer lessons learnt and also connect with like- minded partners to pursue the goals of SPTO’s Strategic Plan 2020-2024 and the PSTPF, for the benefit of our members and tourism stakeholders”.
The target outcomes of the workshop include the design of a Pacific Plastic Strategy and a portfolio of interventions for plastics circularity in Fiji. SPTO is represented at the week- long workshop by Sustainable Tourism Assistant, Catherine Mara.