29 Jun 2004

Cook Islands tourism industry to set up charter for environmentally aware practices

3:09 pm on 29 June 2004

The Cook Islands Tourism Industry Council is meeting tonight to discuss setting up a charter to ensure tourism operators develop environmentally aware practices.

The move comes amid ongoing testing at Titikaveka on Rarotonga for the source of irritating symptoms which people have been experiencing for months.

The council's chairman, Te Tika Mataiapo Dorice Reid, says although there's been no reports of problems in the last three weeks, they want to ensure any possible pollutants are identified and solutions are found.

"Because we appreciate our environment, the tourism industry council are taking steps to formulate a charter for tourism operators, so that we can all become very responsible, individually and collectively, for what we have around us."

Ms Reid says the charter is likely to include proposals that environmentally safe washing powders are bought, there is regular cleaning of septic tanks and people reduce the burning of rubbish.

Tests have shown positive results for ground level ozone which is known to cause lung and respiratory problems.