BY BEN BILUA
OUR Islands, Our Wastes and Our Future. This was the message Plasticwise Gizo put across during the launching of their programme yesterday.
The programme is looking at addressing solid wastes such as plastics both on land and ocean.
Proud members of Plasticwise Gizo, which includes Gizo based women groups, members of the provincial Government, church representatives and Gizo residence packed the MSG building to witness the launching.
Guest of Honor, Under Secretary Technical of the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Meteorology and Disaster Management, Chanel Iroi flew to Gizo to be part of the important event.
In his speech, Iroi commends Plasticwise Gizo for taking the lead in community based approaches to dealing with plastics.
He told those present that Plasticwise Gizo is a beacon of hope for positive environmental efforts in Western Province and the country as a whole.
“I acknowledge your commitment in the environment sector through waste management initiatives that you have engaged with here in Gizo and Western Province as a whole.
“Your programmes, projects and activities are contributing to the implementation of national policies, plans and strategies to addressing waste management and environmental issues in the country,” Iroi said.
He said Plasticwise Gizo has been recognized at the regional and international level through their collaborative engagement with some of the projects that the Ministry is partnering such as the Commonwealth Marine Litter Project by CEFAS.
Iroi said his ministry has engaged Plasticwise Gizo in consultation, data collection and identifying issues and solutions to manage waste in the country through the waste minimization activities such as Reuse and Recycling.
He adds that Plasticwise Gizo has been instrumental in sharing experience and demonstrated waste minimization by reuse/recycle of plastics workshop held in Auki, Malaita Province in 2018.
Provincial Minister for Forestry and Environment, George Stucliffe congratulates the founder of Plasticwise Gizo and her members for leading plastic management in Gizo.
He said, the association has proved its capacity through some of its existing initiatives such as turning plastic wastes into useful products.
“Accept my government’s highest accolade over the progress and achievement you have made so far. You have undertaken an overwhelming challenge trying to address the massive onslaught of plastic wastes of all forms and sizes. Plastic waste is a single most destructive curse facing our beautiful God-given land, shorelines, reefs, seas, streams, forests and various inhabitants.
“I commend your enthusiastic and commitments towards visions,” Stucliffe said.
He said Western Provincial Government is looking forward to working in partnership with Plasticwise Gizo in its endeavors.
Plasticwise Gizo is a leading local Non-Government Organisation based in Gizo Western Province. The Organisation has gained regional and international recognition in waste management. Its membership statistic has been increasing over the past four years and now working in partnership with two international donors.