25 Mar 2004

SPREP warns about waste disposal problem

5:13 am on 25 March 2004

The South Pacific Regional Environment Programme says the problem of waste disposal in the pacific has reached a critical stage and is set to escalate on an unprecedented scale.

SPREP's Pollution Prevention Coordinator, Dr Frank Griffin, says hundreds of tonnes of waste being dumped daily on land and sea across the Pacific presents a potentially huge environmental disaster unless appropriate measures are taken immediately.

He says the signs are now more ominous than ever before, as rapidly increasing populations create increased imports of polluting and hazardous substances into small island land areas.

Dr Griffin says that without adequate measures to combat the growing sources and extent of pollution, regional efforts to maintain healthy societies, to stimulate development and new investment and ensure a sustainable future for its people may be permanently undermined.

This week, delegates from the region are meeting at SPREP's headquarters to develop a plan for a regional waste campaign.

This will include the development of message concepts for the proposed campaign, as well as focusing on customized work plans and policies to respond to the needs of specific countries.