The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Institute of Applied Sciences (IAS) has commenced works with the European Union Pacific Waste Management (PacWastePlus) Programme, through a service agreement focused on developing a sustainable capacity building programme for waste management in the Pacific.

PacWastePlus is funded by the European Union and implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) to improve and enhance waste management activities and the capacity of governments, industry and communities to manage waste to reduce the impact on human health and the environment in participating Pacific island countries.

IAS has been engaged by the PacWastePlus programme to develop a minimum standard for training in the eight target waste streams, undertake a national training capacity needs assessment, and to conduct a stocktake of available waste management training throughout the Pacific region.

The national training capacity needs assessment will identify what skills countries feel their staff and waste management workers should have and also will identify previous training courses delivered, which has helped to provide the up-skilling they seek.

In addition to the Needs Assessment, IAS will undertake the first ever stocktake of waste management training courses in the Pacific. This will describe the status of waste management skills and competencies training available in the Pacific and inform the development of academic and professional waste management training needs in the Pacific island countries.

The stocktake seeks to identify and undertake an initial assessment of available courses in the management of PacWastePlus programme focused priority waste streams of; hazardous wastes (specifically asbestos, E-waste and healthcare waste); solid wastes (specifically recyclables, organic waste, disaster waste and bulky waste); and related aspects of wastewater (water impacted by solid waste).

The Training Stocktake will be analysed against the training needs of countries, and will enable IAS and PacWastePlus to identify any training gaps, invest in existing courses to benefit members, or seek to develop new courses to fill any identified gaps.

Waste management remains a crucial responsibility for all countries, despite the unprecedented challenges faced by Pacific islanders today. The University is grateful to PacWastePlus for the opportunity to apply its quality applied scientific services to implement activities under PacWastePlus Programme for the better management of waste in the Pacific region.

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