Press Release - A four year regional waste management project funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) comes to an end in May this year, for which a terminal evaluation review was recently completed. The terminal evaluation report found that the purpose of the project has been significantly achieved.

Titled the Solid Waste Management Project in Oceania Region (SWMPOR), the project began in June 2006 and involves three partners, namely the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Government of Samoa and JICA.

The purpose of the project is to strengthen the implementation of the Pacific Regional Solid Waste Management Strategy.

During a meeting of the Joint Coordinating Committee (JCC) comprising representatives from the three partners this week, the findings of the terminal evaluation team were submitted and accepted by the JCC meeting. The review exercise was conducted from 2 - 16 February as part of the project monitoring and evaluation.

"This is very pleasing that the evaluation report shows the project purpose was achieved but much more work remains to be done in the Pacific in relation to waste management", said SPREP Director, Mr. David Sheppard at the meeting of the JCC.

"This project has greatly progressed the development of solid waste management policies and strategies in the region, which in turn lays an excellent foundation on which to build systems that will achieve visible and tangible improvements in solid waste management in Pacific countries."

SPREP is a key regional partner for this project, which has four main elements; the environmental monitoring of the semi aerobic landfill in Samoa, the development of national solid waste management strategies within Pacific islands Forum countries, the development of a waste information network and the fourth element relates to the examination of the bulky waste issue within our region.

Another significant output of this project has been the Solid Waste Management Strategy for the Pacific Islands Region for 2010-2015 (RS2010), which was developed in 2009 in consultation with SPREP member countries and subsequently endorsed at the 20th SPREP meeting in Samoa in November 2009.

"We have expressed our sincere appreciation for the project and its outputs, and we anticipate that there will be a follow-up project that will focus on implementing RS2010, as well as the many national solid waste management strategies that have been developed under the current project," explained the Solid Waste Officer at SPREP, Esther Richards.

"The groundwork has been done, but there is still a lot of hard work to be done and the countries will continue to need our assistance in the near future."

In acknowledging the financial support and partnership from JICA with this joint initiative, SPREP Director David Sheppard echoed the need for this regional waste project to continue after May 2010, reflecting the progress made with regional waste issues in the Pacific.

"I acknowledge with deep appreciation the financial support and partnership from JICA for this joint initiative, which supports the majority of SPREP's solid waste work, and I am pleased at the potential for future support for waste management from the Government of Japan. We note with appreciation that the Government of Japan committed itself to support waste management in the Pacific region for another 3 years at the 5th Pacific Islands Leaders meeting (PALM) in Hokkaido in May last year."