Increasing capacity in the Pacific islands region to address the largest driver of biodiversity loss

Niue, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Tonga and Tuvalu have recently completed national consultations to develop activities for the Global Environment Facility (GEF 6) multi-country invasive species project which will commence in 2019.The national consultations confirmed baseline conditions and determined the logistics, activities and budgets for country programmes.

The 5 year project, which aims to strengthen national and regional capabilities to reduce the impact of invasive alien species on globally significant biodiversity in the Pacific, is funded by the GEF, with UN Environment as the Implementing Agency and SPREP as the Executing Agency.

A significant component of the project, funded by GEF Global Set Aside Funds will increase the capacity of the region through the creation of the Pacific Regional Invasive Species Management Support Service (PRISMSS). This mechanism will increase both the effectiveness and efficiency of support to Pacific island countries and territories through formal agreements with existing partners to assist our members. PRISMSS will support the implementation of national projects and boost the services and resources available to the region.

IMG 2437 copyParticipants of the consultation workshop in Tuvalu. Photo: D.Moverley/SPREP

SPREP's Invasive Species Adviser, Mr David Moverley, says "We are currently developing the project document for the GEF 6 project, which will be tabled at the final workshop which will be held in Apia 29-31 May 2018."

The project development has been assisted by the use of the invasive species baseline information available from the Pacific Invasive Species Guidelines Reporting Database which is populated on an annual basis through Member input.

"The Guidelines Reporting Database assists in determining gaps in invasive species management in relation to the Guidelines for Invasive Species Management in the Pacific at both the country and regional level. These gaps are shared with members during project development to allow informed decisions on activities to be made," said Mr Moverley.

The participating countries have very similar priorities which will form the initial thrust of support from the PRISMSS. Each priority will have training and planning at both the regional and national level which will be documented through the Pacific Invasive Species Battler Series guides available from the Battler Resource Base , followed by implementation of activities with support from the PRISMSS.

Common priorities amongst the countries include inter-island biosecurity and early detection- rapid response (EDRR), priority weed management, weed biocontrol (the use of natural enemies), restoration of priority ecological sites, monitoring baselines and changes and eradication strategy, feasibility, planning and implementation.

"Most Pacific island nations lack the capacity to fully implement their priorities as identified within their National Invasive Species Strategy and Action Plans (NISSAPs ). This project aims to address this issue by providing resources to developing capacity within national institutions, which can then be shared with local communities to manage their own invasive species and increase the number of Pacific Invasive Species Battlers ," Mr Moverley added.

For more information please contact Mr David Moverley at davidm@sprep.org.
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