The Environment and Conservation Division in the Ministry of Environment Climate Change Disaster Management and Meteorology carried out routine compliance check on the various sporting facilities currently under development for the 2023 South Pacific Games.
This is part of the Ministry’s mandate to ensure the developments taking place in the country adhere to good environmental practices and are in line with the Hosting Authority’s vision to stage a green games carnival. During the half day tour of the facilities, the team assessed and noted the level of compliance to be generally adequate, although there are some areas that need to be improved.
According to Deputy Director of Environment Ms Debra Kereseka, “Sites that are in the construction phase do apply mitigation measures through traffic management, dust control with signage and fencing to avoid the public having free access to sites during construction”.
However, Ms Kereseka noted that whilst the companies engaged in the construction work do comply with standards in the areas stated above, there are some areas that need proper mitigation measures in terms of surface run-offs which require proper drainage and more importantly proper waste management to prevent wastes accumulating in drains and block the flow of water during rainy weather.
Similar observation also came from Chief Environment Officer Mr Edward Danitofea who said how to mitigate impacts from runoffs will not only be a key challenge at the games facilities, but it is an environmental issue we face almost daily in the Honiara during rainy seasons. As such, relevant mitigation must be addressed at the design stage, construction phase and during the facilities’ operation phase. Monitoring and maintenance of these storm water drainage is very important to ensure the facilities last for a long time.
Other than that, the team is satisfied that most of the Environment Management Plan sections which outline all mitigation measures for each environmental impact are being implemented in line with the “Green Games” initiative along with the design of the facilities as evident at the Friendship Hall and SINIS buildings. Green Games should not only be a phrase we speak off during the event, but a legacy that the games should leave with the facilities for future generations to use and appreciate.