Pacific Tourism Organization expands Plastics Reuse Workshop to Samoa
Monday 14e In November, the Pacific Tourism Organization (SPTO) launched a week-long plastics reuse workshop in Apia, Samoa, as part of the Pacific Tourism Waste Action Initiative (PTWAI). The PTWAI is a collaborative effort between SPTO and a Fiji-based craftsman, Mr. Warwick Marlow. The initiative promotes strong community engagement in the reuse of plastic waste to maintain cleaner communities and provide participants with alternative sources of income.
Successfully conducted in Kiribati, Tuvalu, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Fiji and FSM, the initiative has been well received and even attracted international recognition across the Creative Tourism Awards 2020.
Acknowledging the importance of the workshops, SPTO Sustainable Tourism Manager Ms. Christina Leala Gale noted that COVID-19 has forced the region to consider a more sustainable approach to tourism that is economically resilient, environmentally sustainable and socially sustainable. inclusive.
“The Pacific Tourism Waste Action initiative works through communities to support the achievement of the SDGs, SPTO and Pacific Sustainable Tourism Policy Framework vision and objectives as well as the national tourism development strategies of our member countries”.
“With many SPTO members now striving to become tourism champions, promoting a circular economy is key to supporting efforts to minimize the use of plastics,” said Ms Leala Gale.
Reiterating those sentiments, SPTO Chief Executive Christopher Cocker stressed the importance of transforming tourism as the industry seeks to recover from the pandemic.
“We know we can’t just go back to old practices and trends. Pacific Tourism must build back, smarter, stronger and better. With the help of key strategies such as the Blue Pacific Continent Strategy 2050 and the PSTPF, we have clear guidance on how to leverage opportunities to inspire community action, provide alternative sources of livelihoods and encourage a strong and diverse commitment to environmental protection and conservation”.
“In early November, SPTO hosted the first Pacific Sustainable Tourism Leadership Summit (PSTLS), which was an important platform for engagement with members, partners and other stakeholders. under the theme of “Partnership for a resilient, prosperous and inclusive Pacific through sustainable tourism”, the Summit allowed us to discuss common challenges, lessons learned and mechanisms to help the long-term recovery of the industry. PTWAI is one such mechanism that aligns well with the PSTLS recommendations and we are excited to roll this workshop out to Samoa,” Mr. Cocker said.
The trip to Samoa also provided the SPTO with a valuable opportunity to implement the following over a two-week period (November 11-28):
- Samoa – PTWAI
- Tokelau – PTWAI
- Stakeholder consultation workshop for the development of the Tokelau Sustainable Tourism Policy (TSTP)
- Industry Study Tour to Upolu and Savaii
- Side meetings with stakeholders from Samoa Tourism Authority (STA), Pacific Regional Environment Program (SPREP) and Apia-based UN agencies