First Lady Edwin Opens Three-Day Plastic Repurposing Training Workshop; Successful Outcomes in Pohnpei to Be Replicated in Yap, Chuuk, & Kosrae
PALIKIR, Pohnpei—On April 27th, 2021, Patricia E. Edwin, First Lady of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), opened the Plastic Repurposing Training Workshop. Co-hosted by both the FSM Department of Resources & Development (R&D) and the South Pacific Tourism Organization (SPTO), the three-day workshop taught participants on how on to reuse pollutants, such as plastic bottles, in a way that will strengthen and promote Micronesian culture.
The three-day workshop concluded in Pohnpei on April 29th. The Government will soon be expanding it into the States of Yap, Chuuk, and Kosrae.
“Of the more than one thousand jobs lost in the FSM due to the COVID-19 Pandemic,” First Lady Edwin said, “a plurality of these have been in the tourism sector, of whom a disproportionate number have been women. …The Pandemic gives the FSM an opportunity to reflect and plan our [tourism] pathway carefully; this planning is important in the way we see the people of the FSM benefitting from businesses such as accommodation, food, transport, and nature-based activities, including a strong sense of ownership in the protection and conservation of natural resources.”
“Today,” First Lady Edwin continued, “We are demonstrating a practical way of sharing the benefits from tourism widely, across our villages and households, through the introduction of creative skill sets to make jewelry, and decorative household items, which can be sold back to visitors or exported to our diaspora in the United States and other countries.”
Intended to tap into Micronesian creativity, the Plastic Repurposing Training Workshop seeks to alter citizens’ mindset from seeing a plastic bottle on the beach or road as exclusively a pollutant into a potential source of familial revenue.
“We are a resilient people,” First Lady Edwin said. “Together we can contribute to keeping the whole Pacific region a safe and attractive paradise in our backyards by repurposing plastics, one day at a time.”