EU calls for awareness on growing marine pollution

The EU led a Global Beach Clean-up campaign to mark International Coastal Clean Up Day ahead of the actual day on September 15. Picture: SUPPLIED

THE European Union is calling all public administrations in the Pacific to raise awareness about the growing and alarming phenomenon of marine pollution.

The EU made the call after they led a Global Beach Clean-up campaign earlier today in Suva to mark International Coastal Clean Up Day ahead of the actual day on September 15.

The campaign saw one hundred bags of marine litter being collected by 90 staff members of the Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific, French Embassy, Spanish Embassy, British High Commission, the Suva City Council, volunteers and the students of Beacon Media Learning Centre along the Suva foreshore.

As part of the EU’s Global Beach Clean-up campaign and this year, the European Union and the EU Member States present in Fiji (UK, France and Spain) teamed up with the Suva City Council for this important initiative to raise awareness about the increasing challenges posed by marine litter.

Acting Head of Delegation of the EU for the Pacific Corrado Pampaloni, the French Ambassador to Fiji, Sujiro Seam, Chargé d’affaires, Embassy of Spain to Fiji Daniel Montilla and a representative from the British High Commissioner to Fiji also participated in the beach clean-up.

Speaking on behalf of the EU and its member states, Mr Pampaloni said they were determined to prevent this bleak prospect from becoming a reality and were committed to protecting the oceans and seas, while ensuring their sustainable use.

”Marine litter is a global challenge. Every year millions of tons of trash end up in the ocean. It is estimated that by 2050 there could be more plastic than fish in its waters,” he said.

“This action stands to prove that everybody, individually and collectively, can take concrete action to address it.

“Not only by cleaning our beaches and coasts, but also committing to a more sustainable lifestyle – by reducing plastic consumption, reusing and recycling.”

Mr Pampaloni added that the beach clean-up underlined the readiness of EU staff members to take concrete action as concerned citizens to take better care of our oceans.

Suva City Council acting chief executive officer Bijay Chand said it was the second successive year that they had witnessed the EU Delegation staff commit themselves as part of their on-going commitment for the protection of our environment.

“Today we are extremely pleased to witness the European Union’s commitment to promote a cleaner environment for Suva and Fiji by way of cleaning marine litter along the popular My Suva Picnic Park to mark the International Coastal Clean-up Day,” Mr Chand said.

“The Suva City Council acknowledges and greatly appreciates the unprecedented initiative taken by the European Union to work in partnership with the Council and Ministry of Local Government in doing whatever we possibly can being responsible citizens as part of our corporate social responsibility to the environment.”

Mr Chand said the council could do it alone – referring to keeping the Suva foreshore clean.

“It’s a real challenge to keep the Suva foreshore clean and healthy for our citizens and it is this type of partnership approach with EU who have come on board to assist Suva City Council, we will be able to provide,” he added.


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