3 Nov 2011

Private sector seen as solution to Pacific's pollution problems

5:27 pm on 3 November 2011

A Pacific environmental consultant says the region's pollution problems can only be solved by the private sector.

Ecostrategic's Steve Raaymakers says although the marine pollution threat presented by ships makes news headlines, chronic, insidious pollution of the sea by activities on land is far more serious.

He says the clearing of vegetation, inappropriate land use and the run-off of sediment, fertilisers and other pollutants such as sewage into coastal lagoons are issues throughout the Pacific.

Mr Raaymakers says waste disposal technology relevant to Pacific Island countries has been around for decades but in the region's donor aid environment it's not being applied.

"And ultimately the best solutions are private sector solutions. If there's money in it, people will do it. And really when addressing waste management and sewage and these other pollution problems we need to encourage private sector solutions where it becomes a business. And then it'll work."

Steve Raaymakers says in Kiribati, recycling of aluminium cans has been successfully commercialised.