News Release

Congregation in French Polynesia Joins Forces with City on Eco-Projects

One project led to another, strengthening relationships across the community

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the city of Faa’a, Tahiti, recently made special visits to their civic workers to thank them for their commitment to making their community a better place.

During visits to police officers, firefighters, nurses, doctors, teachers and trash collectors, the Church members gave them homemade treats and offered their help on local projects.

Last March, the City of Faa’a invited the local leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to help create more support for the city’s waste management program, and in particular, to help stop illegal dumping of waste along the roadsides.

During the meeting, city officials presented their new three step master plan for waste management, which, in summary, is to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.

The municipality is working on phase 1. The city wants to reduce its annual waste from 36,000 tons to less than 20,000 tons in the coming years.

Harold Teivao, the president of the Faa’a Tahiti Takaroa Stake, agreed on the spot. “I invite our members and friends to be ‘eco-responsible’ citizens and to adopt simple and effective everyday actions to reduce their waste. We live on a small island and this is good for us, for our health, for our community and for our planet. "

Geneviève Mana, stake project manager, explained their approach. “To actively contribute, we launched a communication campaign: ‘I love my Fenua (country), I love my town, I reduce my waste’ on the Stake Facebook page. For almost two months now we have been providing advice on good practices to reduce waste by following the five R’s advocated by ecological movements: ‘Refuse-Reduce-Reuse-Recycle and Return to the earth.’"

Roland Bopp, Faa’a Environment Director, explained: “Collaborating with the community is essential for us. Experience has shown that it is more effective to establish links with the inhabitants of the concerned neighbourhood. When we meet them to explain the project and build it together, we give meaning to what is being done. In this way, people cooperate more easily and naturally. And everyone wins in this process."

Workshops for ward (congregation) members and leaders on waste reduction will be offered, with the assistance of the technicians of the Faa’a waste department, next September.

In addition, a community service project is in the early stages of planning. It may include the planting of new vegetation on illegal dump sites along the roads of the city, to discourage dumping.

Geneviève Mana concluded: “God created our beautiful earth and we have the privilege of living on such beautiful islands. As wise and considerate stewards, it is up to us to inhabit the planet differently to protect and respect our natural resources and preserve our health.”

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ website states: “This beautiful earth and all things on it are the creations of God (see Genesis 1:1; Moses 2:1; John 1:10; 2 Nephi 2:14). As beneficiaries of this divine creation, we should care for the earth, be wise stewards over it, and preserve it for future generations.”

Watch a video explaining The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ teachings on environmental stewardship here.

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.