A circular economy model will help us manage waste better

Circular Economy is a new concept, especially for Small Island Developing States
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Tekura Moeka’a  attended the 11th Regional 3R (Recycle, Reuse, Reduce) and Circular Economy Forum in Asia and the Pacific held in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Presentations were delivered from experts, academics, entrepreneurs, Non Governmental Organisations, Not-for-Profit Organisations and Government officials over three days. (8th – 10th February 2023)

Presentations were centered around the theme of integrating circular economy in development sectors towards achieving Zero Waste Societies. In brief, Circular economy is defined as an economic model that focuses on eliminating waste; increasing reuse, recycling and recovery of materials; reducing use of finite resources and shifting to renewable alternatives; and decreasing negative elements such as pollution. (UNEP and WRI, 2021).

The presentations also drew links to Sustainable Development Goal 12. Goal 12 notes the sustainable consumption and production and management of natural resources (12.2), environmental impacts such as waste management (12.5) and release of contaminants (12.4)

“Circular Economy is a new concept, especially for Small Island Developing States. SIDS are dependent on imported goods – a more linear economy. This sees the importation of ‘single use’ plastics or containers that end up in our environment” exclaims Tekura Moeka’a. 

One of the Cook Islands targets is to move towards zero waste. The NSDA2020+ Goal 4 is to Manage Solid and Hazardous Waste by recycling more. Resources sustainability is at the center of the triple environmental crisis – climate change, biodiversity loss and waste and pollution. There is much to do, so any little action you can take to reduce, reuse or recycle your items is a step towards a circular economy.

Presentations and Reports and more information can be accessed here.

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The National Environment Service is established to protect, conserve and ensure the Cook Islands environment is managed sustainably. The agency is headed by a Director with delegated powers to carry out the functions of the Environment Act 2003.

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