28 September 2022 -Round Table Discussion on ‘Environment and Recycling Work in Fiji’

French Ambassador to Fiji, H.E Mr. François-Xavier Léger has highlighted that from the very first days of French President Emmanuel Macron’s term of office, the climate has been at the top of the presidential agenda and has remained there ever since.

Mr. Léger made these comments while speaking at the Round Table Discussion on ‘Environment and Recycling Work in Fiji’ that was held on Wednesday 28th September 2022 at the French Residence in Suva.

The Roundtable is an initiative of the French Embassy in Suva and is being partnered by the Pacific Recycling Foundation (PRF) and supported by the Government of New Caledonia and Bred Bank Fiji.

“In 2017, the President adopted the goal of carbon neutrality in 2050 and by 2019 and we have reached our European emissions reduction target. But the risks of climate change and biodiversity loss know no borders. To be effective, our action can only be collective,” Mr. Léger said.

“On the international scene, we have known the time of awareness, then of joint commitment. French diplomacy has played a decisive role on this last point, as it has contributed to the formation of coalitions of actors, especially by integrating actors from the private sector, finance and civil society. Today, it is time for action. So when some States have taken a stand against the imperative of ecological transition, France has shown itself to be equal to its international responsibilities, by preserving the collective dynamic,” Mr. Léger said.

Mr. Léger said France played a part in the Pacific, via the Agence française de développement (AFD), the French public agency that implements France’s development and international solidarity policies and Fiji was obviously among the region’s privileged partners thanks to the Kiwa initiative.

“AFD operates in Fiji through regional projects in response to shared climate change and biodiversity issues and to develop joint solutions.The French public agency that implements France’s development and international solidarity policies. As the only European development agency present in the Pacific, AFD’s regional strategy, focusing on the challenges of climate change, green finance, biodiversity conservation and the Ocean we share, directly resonates with the challenges of the Blue Pacific,” Mr. Léger said.

He also thanked the Pacific Recycling Foundation, Bred Bank and the Government of New Caledonia for supporting and contributing immensely to this event.

The panellists who shared their contributions and insights at the Roundtable included PRF Founder and Director, Mr. Amitesh Deo, Pacific Island Development Forum Secretary General, Mr. Solo Mara, Principal Environment Officer at the Department of Environment, Mr. Kavnil Lal, Creative Aspect of Recycling Artist, Ms. Suzanne Turaganiwai and Recycling on the Go Head Ambassador and student of Jai Narayan College, Ms. Hefuhelava Kamaile.

PRF Director, Mr. Deo highlighted that PRF had been in the waste management and recycling space for around 28 years and they still received questions from the public on why they still don’t have recycling and upcycling facilities.

Mr. Deo said without everyone’s participation, it was very difficult to sustain the recycling concept.

“There also needs to be clear understanding about recyclables and what should be done with them,” Mr. Deo said.

Mr. Deo revealed that without active participation, it became very difficult for recycling to be sustained.

“In a country like ours where we have less than a million people, volume is a huge issue when it comes to sustained recycling concepts,” Mr. Deo said.

Recycling on the Go Head Ambassador at Jai Narayan College, Ms. Hefuhelava Kamaile emphasized that there was a need to highlight the need for active participation in the recycling and waste management space.

“So to my view, students they make up an important percentage of the young and educated population and therefore, they should be the ones setting up the future trends as far as environmental protection is concerned.” Ms. Kamaile said.

The Principal Environment Officer at the Department of Environment, Mr. Kavnil Lal highlighted that one solution could emerge from exploring avenues where items should not be manufactured at all if they have been identified that they could not be recycled at all in the first place.

Meanwhile, Pacific Island Development Forum-Secretary General, Mr. Solo Mara stressed that when it came to active participation in the recycling and environment space, youths and relevant stakeholders needed help and engagements.

Creative Aspect of Recycling Artist, Ms. Suzanne Turaganiwai said recycling and upcycling of waste was one part of the solution, however, there was more needed on awareness and support from members of the society, groups, and partners and more important inputs from the younger generation in enhancing the recycle waste management in the country.

The event was attended by more than 50 participants and was followed by a Cocktail.



Last updated on: 30 September 2022