Re-Imagining Environmental Protection in the Pacific.

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In the month of March, the Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) Plastics Repurposing Trainings were conducted on the islands of Savusavu and Taveuni in Fiji. Coordinated in partnership with the Savusavu and Taveuni Tourism Associations, the trainings brought together a cross-section of community representatives including former tourism sector workers, women, youth and persons with disabilities.

With the guidance of prominent Fiji artist and SPTO’s creative consultant, Warwick Marlow, the participants learnt the art of repurposing plastic waste, much of which was collected from local beaches, to create jewelry and other handicrafts.

While opening the workshops SPTO Chief Executive Officer, Christopher Cocker, acknowledged that the initiative is an important tool for equipping tourism stakeholders with the skills to create sustainable livelihoods whilst also contributing to achieving cleaner and greener communities.

SPTO launched the Plastics Repurposing Training in 2018 with fifteen women from Galoa village in Fiji and have carried out further trainings in Tuvalu, Kiribati and RMI. Adapting to COVID-19 travel restrictions the workshops outside of Fiji are being delivered virtually via pre-recorded instructional videos and live interactive sessions.

Feedback from participants include:

  • “The training has given me a sense of confidence, that I can actually take this experience back to the village and show the women and even our children that this is what we can do with plastic waste”- Esther Catherine Fisher.
  • “I think it’s really helpful and also educational for us to learn of other ways that we can minimize pollution by turning plastic into jewelry”- Masivesi Mataitiga.
  • “It was a great opportunity for me to come to the workshop and I’ve learnt that we can use anything that’s around us as a source of income and this also helps to keep our surroundings clean”- Litea Celua

Contact sustainable@spto.org for more information on this initiative

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