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Pacific Islands drowning in their waste: waste management issues that threaten sustainability

Veitayaki, Joeli (2010) Pacific Islands drowning in their waste: waste management issues that threaten sustainability. [Conference Proceedings]

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    Abstract

    PACNEWS on the 15th of July 2009, quoted the Mayor of Waitakere, Mr Bob Harvey referring to the Pacific Islands as a “waste disaster” with the neighbouring four island states of Tonga, Samoa, Cook Islands and Niue turning into environmental disasters ‘amidst their own waste and pollution’(PACNEWS 2009). According to Harvey, the trip he had shared with the Prime Minister of New Zealand into four Pacific Island Countries ‘left him fearing for the future of some of the Pacific’s most pristine tourist destination’ (PACNEWS 2009), which are threatened by pollution and poor waste management. According to Mr Harvey, the failure to meet basic requirements for sewerage, commercial and farm runoff and domestic waste were ruining paradise. I agree with Mr Harvey and regard waste management today amongst the three main environmental problems faced in the Pacific Islands. Experience over the last few decades has shown that Pacific Islanders have used economic development as the excuse to pollute their homes because they have not seriously managed their waste or have cut corners to reduce their costs of production. Consequently, Pacific Islanders are disposing highly toxic, non biodegradable and persistent waste as they do their garden and household biodegradable and have not learned from the painful experiences in countries such as Japan, which at one time was ravaged by diseases such as the Minamata that were due to improper waste management practices.

    Item Type: Conference Proceedings
    Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
    Divisions: Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE) > School of Marine Studies
    Depositing User: Ms Mereoni Camailakeba
    Date Deposited: 17 May 2010 12:09
    Last Modified: 19 Jun 2012 21:16
    URI: http://repository.usp.ac.fj/id/eprint/2151
    UNSPECIFIED

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