Ensure Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns
Solid waste management has become an important issue in the Pacific due to rapid urbanization and associated impacts, such as changes in food preferences that shows an increasing demand for imported packaged and canned foods over natural grown foods, contributing to increasing waste levels and impacting the environment.
Most Pacific Island countries face similar problems when it comes to solid waste management, with limited land, high population density and a lack of technical skills to cater for increasing waste masses on small islands where there are very few options available to manage solid wastes.
Available options for waste management include: landfill, incineration, and open burning, which can exacerbate environmental pollution. This pattern of consumption is not sustainable for our islands.
Organic Agriculture utilises practical agro-ecological methods that not only produce healthy food for consumption in environmentally sound ways, but also makes use of organic waste in composts and mulches, reducing the need for landfills and burning.
Composting, for example; turns organic waste into organic fertilizer that can be used to replace chemical fertilizers. The world is producing enough to feed the world, yet food is wasted that could feed millions.
Even in the Pacific Islands, we waste food through inadequate storage and distribution systems and by not capitalizing on seasonal over supplies. Investments are needed to reduce post-harvest losses at the point of food production, improve storage and distribution, and in processing and value-adding agricultural products. Organic farmers and processors in the Pacific are making significant contributions in this area, processing and exporting dried fruit and fruit pulps, utilizing produce that is not suitable for fresh export, or with seasonal gluts, such as mangoes.