Samoa will host the first United Nations Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Conference to be held in the Pacific region, estimated to bring over 3,000 delegates to Apia in six months time.
This international Conference will be the third conference specifically focusing on issues, challenges and priorities of countries from the three SIDS regions – the Pacific; the Caribbean; and the African, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and South China Sea (AIMS).
The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) is committed to assisting Samoa to host the conference.
A key challenge will be the management of waste. To help the island cope with this pressure, a waste management audit of accommodation providers and conference facilities will take place in Apia on Tuesday and Wednesday, 4 and 5 March.
SPREP is working in partnership with Samoa’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE) to identify gaps that need to be addressed in order to responsibly manage waste during the conference.
“Through the information that comes from this we’ll be able to plan now as to how we can manage the waste that will come with an influx of an additional 3,000 people in Samoa during the conference,” said Mr Faleafaga Toni Tipamaa, MNRE’s Assistant CEO Environment.
“During this period it is not only the conference but also the increased waste generated during the Teuila Festival that we will need to manage.”
Sefanaia Nawadra, the Director of Environmental Monitoring and Governance at SPREP stated –
“We are here to provide any assistance as required by Samoa as the nation gears up to host one of the most important conferences ever, for Small Island Developing States. This is just one way we can assist through our partnership with MNRE.”
The audit will involve a short interview to complete an audit survey as well as a ‘walk-through’ explanation of the current waste management procedures and practices of the hotel and other facilities..