Oceans cover three quarters of the Earth’s surface (75%), contains 97 per cent of the Earth’s water, and represents 99 percent of the living space on the planet by volume. And with over three billion people dependent on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods including the Pacific Region where majority of the population live in coastal areas, the need to sustainably manage and conserve our oceans and marine resources is now more crucial and urgent than ever. Anthropogenic factors negatively impacting our oceans resources include overfishing, ocean acidification, and marine pollution.
Tourism in the Pacific depends on a healthy ocean and ocean ecosystem and as such, the Pacific Sustainable Tourism Policy Framework 2030 acknowledges the tourism sector’s commitment to Goal 4 on “Healthy Islands and Oceans” where ‘Tourism accelerates climate action, protects our ecosystems and supports resilience’. Within this context, the Pacific Tourism Waste Action Initiative (PTWAI) acts as the platform for the tourism sector’s waste action initiatives. With the long term goal of showcasing and supporting all types of waste management interventions, the PTWAI has prioritized plastic waste response while seeking out partnerships and resources to expand to other areas.