Cook Islands join the GEF Islands Pacific Project 2nd Project Steering Committee meeting

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Pacific Island Countries including the Cook Islands met in Auckland this month to endorse the Pacific Global Environment Facility (GEF) Islands work plan and budget for 2024 to 2027. Senior Environmental Partnership Coordinator, Mii Herman attended the meeting on behalf of NES to ensure that the Cook Islands’ National Priorities were meet before the final endorsement as a region.

The total amount allocated to the Cook Islands for the delivery of national activities, including a National Project Officer is USD $750,000. The United Nations Environment Programme and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme will be assisting the Cook Islands for regional capacity building, implementation of activities and engagement with relevant stakeholders.

NES allocated majority of the funds towards the disposal and destruction of electronic waste (E-Waste) in the Pa Enua. This forward-looking project reflects the NES and Cook Island Government’s commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainable waste management practices. Halatoa Fua, NES Director, acknowledged the GEF, UNEP and SPREP for assisting the Cook Islands during the preparation stages and facilitating past and future meetings. ‘The leakage of waste to water, air and soil, also impacts our human health. We must protect our environment by doing what is right. We seek the community’s support to identify all the listed items regarded as waste and prepare them for collection. We thank all our partners including the Pa Enua and our communities for making this happen”.

“Tita’ ki te Tita’ kore Project – Legacy Waste Collection is currently being rolled out in Rarotonga, which has been a success according to Project Coordinator Mii Herman. A total of 100,000kg of waste has been collected and exported to Auckland, NZ for proper sound management. “We have received several positive feedback from the public in regard to the project; now it is time for the rest of the Cook Islands to receive the same”.

The Cook Islands will be implementing the first phase of the work plan for 2024. For more information on the GEF Islands project, please contact Mii Herman, mii.herman@cookislands.gov.ck

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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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