Materials and Publications

Fact Sheet: A Global Plastic Treaty Guided by Indigenous Pacific Wisdom

Abstract: The global plastics treaty (GPT) mandates the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) to create binding rules based on the best available science, traditional knowledge, knowledge of Indigenous Peoples and local knowledge systems (Res 5/14). The knowledge and practices of Indigenous Pacific Island Peoples are deeply rooted in a respectful and mutual co-existence with the natural world. New materials, products, and technologies offer advantages, yet bring pollutants that were not present pre-colonization. Plastic pollution harms sustainability, ecosystems, culture, economies, health, and well-being. Polymers and petrochemicals are not produced in the region. Nevertheless, Pacific Islands communities are severely impacted by plastic pollution from the increasing volumes of plastics entering the region via trade, tourism, fishing, and tidal flows – and never leaving.

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