HAC workshop helped shape the Cook Islands submission for the new global treaty to end plastic pollution

The Cook Islands became the first Pacific nation to join the High Ambition Coalition (HAC) to end plastic pollution following the first Intergovernmental Negotiations Committee (INC) in December 2022

The NES Director, Halatoa Fua, attended High Ambition Coalition (HAC) to end plastic pollution workshop in Berlin this February 2023.

The Cook Islands became the first Pacific nation to join the High Ambition Coalition (HAC) to end plastic pollution following the first Intergovernmental Negotiations Committee (INC) in December 2022. The INC was approved by the United Nations General Assembly (UNEA) to develop a legally-binding global treaty to end plastic pollution. There are currently 52 member states under HAC and will continue to grow in the coming months. The coalition was founded by Norway and Rwanda.
Click here to find more information on the HAC to end plastic pollution: 

The HAC to End Plastic Pollution is a group of a like-minded countries that are committed to end plastic pollution by 2040. The coalition’s strategic goals are to restrain plastic consumption and production to sustainable levels, enable a circular economy for plastics to protect environment and human health, and to achieve environmentally sound management of plastic waste.
1.      Provisions to reduce the supply of and demand for plastic polymers;
2.      Provisions to phase-out specific plastic polymers, chemicals of concern and plastic products
3.      Provision to increase the retention of plastics in the economy;
4.      Provision to reduce the release of plastics to air, water and land.

The need to eliminate problematic plastics should include bans and restrictions. National and global baselines, targets, criteria, and standards should be set for sustainability throughout the lifecycle of plastics. The group discussed the need for transparency in the value chain of plastics, including material and chemical composition.

Strengthening of commitments will require control mechanisms, monitoring and reporting at each stage of the lifecycle of plastics. Supporting mechanisms such as technical and financial assistance, and socio-economic assessments will assist many small islands developing states.

Many studies have shown the exponential growth of plastic pollution is attributed to unsustainable production and consumption of plastics. The impact on human health, terrestrial and marine ecosystems is a real concern that affects many communities around the world.

Halatoa Fua stated, ‘participation in the HAC workshop helped complete a submission from the Cook Islands on what the legally binding global treaty should look like to protect our communities from the plastic waste crisis. The discussions at the breakout sessions with other HAC members was valuable to understand areas of convergence, particularly in addressing plastic production.’

Click here to view the Cook Islands INC submission

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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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