Fiji’s Minister for Housing and Local Government, Maciu Katamotu Nalumisa is leading the country delegation at the Rapa Nui Pacific Leaders Summit in Easter Island, Chile on behalf of the Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka.

The theme for the Summit is; “Ocean Protection and Fight Against Plastic and Microplastic Pollution”.

The three-day Summit provides a platform for Pacific Leaders with various backgrounds to express their perspectives and provide recommendations to address plastic and microplastic pollution globally.

The objective of the event is to further discuss mechanisms to strengthen ocean protection in the Pacific region by generating concrete commitments and coordinated actions for a more sustainable future.

“The Pacific Islands Developing States including Fiji, import plastic and certainly the ocean is at the receiving end of plastic pollution. Plastic pollution is a critical matter that needs attention due to its threat on human and environmental health, biodiversity, and marine resources in Fiji and the Pacific.

The concern comes as a result of our actions and the impacts of climate change and natural disasters. The core drivers to push transition includes behavioral change, regulatory framework and innovation. We must protect our “moana” and the desired tourism destination with white sandy beaches and colourful reefs,” said Minister Nalumisa.

The panel discussions at the first plenary session was an opportunity to promote a dynamic of participative work, inviting cross-sector collaboration to formulate and implement concrete actions against microplastic pollution and for the protection of oceans around us.

“Plastic does not respect the boundaries of marine reserves. It is worth noting that health effects by plastic pollution in a human will be 100 times more. Therefore, it is imperative to develop and implement pragmatic Action Plans to take actions now.

Undoubtedly, there is a need to combine different types of knowledge and make a difference. The legal framework like the Global Plastics Treaty is fundamental, which can act as resolution that will assist in fighting against plastic and Microplastic pollution,” mentioned Minister Nalumisa.

The Summit will conclude on 5th April, 2024 with the signing of the Declaration on Rapa Nui Pacific Leaders Summit 2024. The Declaration will be mainly to reflect the collective commitment to address the issue of plastic and microplastic pollution in the ocean.

Fiji is amongst the 24 Pacific Island Countries that are invited and represented in the Rapa Nui Pacific Leaders Summit 2024.