THE archaic perceptions surrounding sailing vessels and the lack of funding for them are the main factors holding back Fiji and the Pacific from achieving fully sustainable sea transport.
"The barriers are because it's perceptual, people think that sails are going to be slower and less efficient," said Pete Nuttall of USP's sustainable Transport Research Program.
Mr Nuttall made the comments at the 2nd Sustainable Sea Transport Talanoa at the USP lower campus yesterday.
He explained the problem also boiled down to a difference between the main source of emissions between the wider world and the Pacific region.
"There is also barrier because, for the rest of the world the problem is electricity," Mr Nuttall explained
"For the rest of the world, electricity accounts for 70 per cent of their emissions.
"But for the Pacific, transport accounts for 70 per cent of emissions so it's a regional thing."
Mr Nuttall said while there was so much money from donors there still were no concrete moves to fund sustainable sailing projects.
"So I think it was Feleti Teo the secretary-general who said they had $535million committed by the donor community for reducing the Pacific's dependency on diesel, that was last year in April in Auckland and just two weeks ADB announced $228m again for the same purpose."