August 09, 2010

By FSM Information Services
The Kaselehlie Press

July 23, 2010 Palikir, Pohnpei (UNDP,by Mari Moertvedt) "The project is very simple and easily replicable in other islands. It just needs a management who strongly believes in sustainable development,"" says Maria Stephens, who as th he logistic coordinator in the Kosrae Recycling Project, was recently nominated for the "Energy Globe World Award "in Rwanda.

The recycling project in Kosrae, one of the four states in the Federated States of Micronesia, is collecting waste and selling it as valuable raw material. It is a win-win situation for the island and its population, as it is creating jobs and at the same time managing waste.

"We are proud to lead the recycling activity in Kosrae. It is giving us more strength to face the hundreds of daily problem ms we have in conducting the activity on the island, " Stephens says. She coordinates the project together with th he manager, Mark Stephens. They have been running the recycling activity in Kosrae since September 2007.

Maria and Mark Stephens participated in the Energy globe award in Rwanda (Africa)in June and they are enthusiastic about leading an environment activity which is acknowledged internationally. More than 800 environmental projects from 105 nations were submitted for the "Energy Globe Award ".

"We had many congrats from the audience, the Rwanda Prim me Minister, the Rwanda Minister of Environment, etc...Everybody was curious to know where Kosrae is!" said Stephens..

"Kosrae and the recycling activity were selected as one of three nominees for the world award in the category Earth. The award was finally given a reforestation project in Mauritius Africa),but t he nomination alone was an accomplishment for the recycling plant.

"It was a great experience. For a very small island like Kosrae and a small project as our recycling activity, to be nominated together with such great personalities and countries was a great honour," she said.

The United Nations Development Program (UUNDP),, initiated parts of the Kosrae recycling project when funding he setup of the Materials Recycling Facility between March 2006 and November 2007.All the equipment was given to the people of Kosrae Island and the recycling plant has been running successfully since the Stephens took over the management three years ago.

"UNDP is pleased to see the continuation of this project and that the people of Kosrae are at the forefront of ensuring that this project benefits not only the company but also the whole community. It is a good example of how a small project can have a great impact on the livelihoods of the communities and the preservation of the environment, " UNDP Resident Representative at the Fiji Multi Country Office, Mr. Knut Ost by says.

The potential for these types of projects is great in small developing states, as importation of recycle material such as aluminium cans, glass and plastic products, lead batteries and scrap metal is very high.

"A feasibility study for a recycling project was conducted in the Marshall Islands and the other states of FSM (Chuuk ,Pohnpei and Yap)and there is potential for setting up a similar recycling mechanism with existing local recycling partners. Other small island developing states like Nauru and Tuvalu may also benefit from such projects, "Mr.Ostby adds.