Environment and development
in coastal regions and in small islands

Let's save our coastline

ON October 7, all Papua New Guineans living along our coastline will be asked to take part in the nation-wide Coastal Clean-Up Campaign to rid our beaches of marine debris. For those living in the capital city Port Moresby, the call for their participation is more urgent. The beaches of our capital are nothing but a total disgrace. Rubbish in all shapes and forms from plastic shopping bags to cans, bottles, paper as well as industrial waste have replaced the white sands and blue coastline. The sea around Port Moresby is polluted and has been for many years. The damage that this has caused to the marine life is irreparable and our best efforts to clean up the coastline is unfortunately too little too late.

Nevertheless, this national effort should be fully supported by everyone concerned not just with the environment for now, but our future.

Countries that have failed to protect their coastline of marine debris are now paying a heavy price for their failures.  Are we to follow in their direction?
As a nation we have done absolutely little to protect the beaches of our major urban centres, particularly cities like Port Moresby.

From the villages of Tatana and Baruni through to Hanuabada, Ela Beach, Koki, Taikone, Vabukori, Kila Kila and on to Pari village what we see is evidence of our lack of action. But responsibility for this clean-up rests not only with people who live in these villages but the entire city — rubbish from the whole capital city has been carried by the currents and end in these places.

The one-day clean-up campaign will achieve no long-term results if the population passes this responsibility on to the next person. What we are doing here is part of a major international effort to save marine life from extinction. Please step forward and show your support through positive action — do not pass that on to your neighbor or assume someone else will do it. Every small part is important to the overall campaign.

This year’s Coastal Clean-Up Campaign comes just after our Silver Jubilee celebrations and should serve as a “wake-up call” to all Papua New Guineans that lack of action towards cleaning up our coastline now is a recipe for future disaster. 

Source: Post-Courier Online, 22nd-24th September 2000

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