20 November 2010
E-Waste Tonga officially launched their project on November 23rd 2010, at Tupou Tertiary Institute. The guest of Honor Drew Havea from the Civil Society Forum of Tonga The project is focused on raising awareness on electronic waste within Tonga, establishing an effective reduction and removal process of e-waste and development of the framework for managing incoming electronics to the Kingdom of Tonga and other Pacific Island nations.
E-waste is a fast growing problem within Tonga and the Pacific with high numbers of electronics, phones and second hand computers being imported with no plans for safe and effective removal. Tonga and other Pacific Island nations face the issue of dealing with mountains of hazardous e-waste with serious consequences for the environment and public health. These are cause for grave concern for Tonga where agriculture plays an important role in the economy and in supporting the livelihood of the people.
E-Waste Tonga has been supported by The Civil Society Forum of Tonga (CSFT) in securing funds from the United Nations Global Environment Fund (GEF) to support the establishment and management of the project for two years. The projects long term sustainable plans include working with key partners such as GIO Recycling and other stakeholders to develop the e-waste value chain to be more cost efficient, effective and environmentally friendly and allow for continued future growth of the recycling program.
The organisation is recruiting members of the public and relevant institutions with an interest in environmental issues to contribute to the project by volunteering their time to one of the organisation committees. There are four key areas of development including education, promotion/public awareness, lobbying and recycling committees.
Issued by the: Ministry of Information and Communications, Nuku'alofa, 2010