Celebrating 20 years of the Pacific Islands Roundtable for Nature Conservation

Twenty years of efforts to conserve Pacific Island environments and resources are being celebrated by the Pacific Islands Roundtable for Nature Conservation and Protected Areas (PIRT) and its Members this week in Honiara, Solomon Islands.

PIRT was established in 1998 at the request of Pacific island countries and territories which was voiced at the 6th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas in 1997.   PIRT enables those organisations working on nature conservation in the Pacific to improve their collaboration and coordination towards effective conservation action.

“PIRT brings together a wide range of people including academics, NGOs, community groups, government officials, practitioners and agencies working on nature conservation in our region. This meeting is our chance to connect, learn about current and planned activities, and plan cooperative actions,” explains Kosi Latu, PIRT Secretariat and Director General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).


“The theme for this year’s annual meeting is ‘Oceans at the tipping point: from global commitments to local actions’, and looks to identify how PIRT members may assist Pacific island countries and territories to progress their global commitments.”

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PIRT provides a framework and drives action through its working groups, which meet yearly on more specific topics and then report back to the annual meeting. The four main working groups are the Pacific Invasive Partnership, the Protected Areas Working Group, the Species Working Group and the Pacific Network for Environmental Law. 


In connection with PIRT is the Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas which has been held every few years since 1975. At this conference government agencies, NGOs, community based organisations, donor agencies and expatriates concerned with conservation science and practice in the Pacific Islands region can meet to discuss the agenda for the next few years.


“This conference provides an excellent place for us to exchange knowledge, to share achievements and to talk about the way forward in the Pacific.  Discussions about the next Conference planned for 2020 will be on the agenda at this PIRT Annual Meeting,” states Mr. Latu.


This year’s meeting will be held from 21 to 22 August in Honiara, Solomon Islands.

PIRT was established in 1997, currentlly there are11 organisations that have signed the Membership Agreement: Conservation International (CI), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Society for Conservation Biology Oceania (SCBO), SeaWeb, Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP). The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) of Fiji, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), The University of the South Pacific (USP), Birdlife International and the Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.

The Pacific Islands Round Table for Nature Conservation (PIRT) is a coalition of nature conservation and development organisations, governments, inter-governmental agencies, donor agencies and community groups created to increase effective conservation action in the Pacific Islands Region. PIRT is the key coordination mechanism for the implementation of the new Framework for Nature Conservation and Protected Areas in the Pacific Islands region 2014–2020 which was adopted at the 9th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas and was subsequently endorsed at the 25th Annual SPREP Meeting in September 2014. Currently, IUCN is the Chair and SPREP is the Secretariat of PIRT. 
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