Thank you for inviting me to join you all tonight at this important occasion
I am encouraged to see how citizens and residents of this country really their support behind government policy direction to create a healthy and sustainable environment for today and tomorrow.
Pollution and the growing volumes of solid and hazardous wastes are major threats to the environments and sustainable development of Vanuatu of Vanuatu Globalization is accelerating the transition of our urban communities towards consumer economies, with increasing urbanization, migration, and participation in international trade.
This is the resulting in an escalation in the generation of solid and liquid wastes, and these increase the risk of coastal and marine pollution. The lack of controls on imported chemicals and the lacks of Capacity for managing pollutants threaten to undermine the quality and health of vulnerable ecosystems on which our people depend.
As a nation we stand firm and bold in addressing those challenges by putting together policies and strategies that will help mitigate and control pollution and our environmental degradation. Let me mention a few of them.
Firstly, Government established a Department of Environment Protection and conservation to take action on waste management and the control of pollution. Its mandatory roles include.
· Improve national technical capacity to manage pollution, solid wastes and hazardous chemicals through provision of training, technical advice and support.
· Encourages the development of Provincial and Muicipal Wastes Management plans to support infrastructure and innovative funding measures, and the sharing of best pratises accross the island of Vanuatu in order to support environmentally sound and sustainable waste management and pollution control.
· Support renewed efforts in educating communities through national and other targeted awarness campaigns.
Secondly, government has also put in place a sound policies and frameworks to address waste managements and pollution control. This includes:
· National Environment Policy and Action Plans 2030
· National Biodiversity Strategy and Actions Plans
· Vanuatu Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction Policy ( 2016-2030)
· Vanuatu National Policy Ocean policy
With our increased commitment towards ensuring a clean healthy and sustainable environment, today Vanuatu is the first country in the region to ban the plastics. This indeed put Vanuatu in a global map as a little county in the south Pacific that concern about its ecosystem and environment at large.
However, the challenges to our environment is immense and government cannot do everything. We need Partnership, we need partnership, we need commitment, we need responsible citizens, and together we can create a healthy environment.
We are here today to launch Vanuatu Recycles and waste Management Association. I personally think it is a great initiative to complement government's effort to address Waste management and control pollution to benefit in a more meaningful way of life.
Thank you for your attention.