Policies approved by Cabinet

28 June 2016

These policies guide the way forward for the Cook Islands to achieve better management of wastewater and solid waste in line with the National Sustainable Development Plan (NSDP).

 

Solid Waste Management Policy 2016-2026

The Solid Waste Policy provides a high-level framework for solid waste management in the Cook Islands.  The vision for this policy is 'an informed and proactive community taking responsibility for sustainable solid waste management, aspiring towards Zero Waste Cook Islands'.  In developing this policy, a sound foundation was provided by the policy elements contained within the Cook Islands National Solid Waste Management Strategy 2013-2016.  Implementation of this policy will require some legislative amendments.

The purpose of this policy is to improve the Cook Islands management of solid waste and promote shared responsibility for waste management by all stakeholders.  The policy contains objectives and policies which addresses waste minimisation, the institutional and legislative framework, appropriate infrastructure, sustainable financing, education and awareness, and monitoring and evaluation. 

There is an existing Cook Islands National Solid Waste Management Strategy 2013-2016 which was developed by the National Solid Waste Management Committee.  It contains a mix of policy elements and more specific strategies.  Those policy elements have formed the foundation for this document.  

 

Sanitation (Wastewater Management) Policy 2016

The Sanitation Policy provides a high-level framework for wastewater management in the Cook Islands.  It seeks to ensure wastewater management protects public health and the environment; and involves an integrated approach with public, community and individual responsibility.  This policy replaces a 2014 policy which needed updating, mainly due to changes in the sewage and wastewater regulations.  

The purpose of this policy is to provide a high-level framework for wastewater management in the Cook Islands.  This policy is one of a suite of documents (including strategies, a work plan, and a master plan) which will provide for and enable the development of wastewater management in a way that contributes to sustainable development.  The policy also identifies four key targets or indicators which are considered critical to meeting the objectives and policies. 

 

CONSISTENCY WITH NATIONAL PRIORITIES

Both policies are consistent with national policies as set out in the NSDP 2016-2020. 

Solid Waste Management Policy 2016-2026

The NSDP sets sixteen national development goals.  Goal 3 is of most direct relevance to this policy. It states as follows:

"3. Promote sustainable practices and effectively manage solid and hazardous waste"

The NSDP has identified two indicators to measure progress towards this goal.  Indicator 3.1 tracks total waste recycled.  Indicator 3.2 tracks the percentage of hazardous waste that is accounted for and managed.

Other NSDP goals of particular relevance are:

"4. Sustainable management of water and sanitation"

"11. Promote sustainable land use, management of terrestrial ecosystems, and protect biodiversity”

“12. Sustainable management of the oceans, lagoons and marine resources"

 These goals are of particular relevance because of the adverse effects that poor solid waste management can have on the natural environment.

Sanitation (Wastewater Management) Policy 2016

Goal 4 of the NSDP is of most direct relevance to the Sanitation Policy.  It states as follows:

"4. Sustainable management of water and sanitation"

Other NSDP goals of particular relevance are:

"5. Build resilient infrastructure and ICT to improve our standard of living"

"11. Promote sustainable land use, management of terrestrial ecosystems, and protect biodiversity”

“12. Sustainable management of the oceans, lagoons and marine resources"

Goals 11 and 12 have been noted because of the adverse effects that poor wastewater management practices can have on the natural environment.  

Both policies are available for download and we hope that you will enjoy reading them.