Meeting of the Noumea Convention, an instrument for the protection of the Pacific’s natural resources, takes place today

The Fourteenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Noumea Convention, for which SPREP is the Secretariat, held its meeting today with the presence of nine of its members –Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, France, Republic of the Marshall Islands, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and the United States of America.

The Noumea Convention provides a legal instrument to ensure that environmental management and sustainable development of natural resources is implemented throughout the Pacific. Since the Convention came into force in 1990, there have been increasing challenges and issues faced by the Pacific region.

The number of governments present in Samoa reflects the commitment from the Parties, which is reflected in the work undertaken since the last COP meeting in 2015 to address the challenges of environmental management and pollution control in the region.

IMG 5380Participants of the Fourteenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Noumea Convention held in Apia, Samoa. Photo: SPREP

Mr. Kosi Latu, Director General of SPREP, stated that "The activities of the Parties and the Secretariat achieved under the Convention, often with shoestring budgets, reflected the true value of the Convention. There have been increasing demands and emerging pressures within our regions natural resources not just from within the region, but from multiple global scale drivers. The Noumea Convention has to address many of the pressing and emerging issues we face today such as climate change and ocean acidification," he said.

The main achievements and key successes of the Noumea Convention over the last two years have been in the areas of marine and coastal conservation, Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and marine pollution.

"Over the last two years, there have been a number of significant achievements in the Pacific, which suggests that strengthening the use of the Noumea Convention as a legally binding instrument for sustaining the region's environment is critically important. We call upon other countries to ratify the Convention," said Mr. Mike Walsh, Chair of the Noumea Convention.

IMG 5377 copySPREP Director General, Mr Kosi Latu, outgoing Chair of the Noumea Convention, Mr Mike Walsh, and newly elected Chair, Mr Ulu Bismarck Crawley. Photo: SPREP

"The effects of human activities continue to threaten our biological resources both directly and indirectly. As the Framework for Pacific Regionalism recognises the countries and territories of the region are linked by the ocean, its conservation and sustainable management is of critical importance to us all. The Noumea Convention is a vital tool in achieving this. The challenge of how we best work together to ensure the sustainable use of our oceans, while protecting our marine biodiversity and ecosystems needs to be highlighted in the application of the Convention," said Mr. Ulu Bismarck Crawley, Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Samoa.

Kosi Latu welcomed the election of Mr. Crawley as the new Chair of the Convention for the next two years and acknowledged the efforts of Mr. Walsh for his role as Chair since 2015.

The twelve Parties to the Noumea Convention are: Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, France, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands and the United States of America.

IMG 5359 copyThe Fourteenth Meeting of the Noumea Convention in session. Photo: SPREP

The 14th meeting of the Noumea Convention is held at the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel on 14th September. It is followed by the 9th meeting of the Waigani Convention on 15th September, the Pacific Environment Forum on 18th and the Twenty-Eight SPREP Meeting of Officials from 19th – 21st September.

The 21 Pacific island countries and territories that are members of SPREP are: American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Wallis and Futuna.

The 5 Metropolitan members of SPREP are: Australia, France, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States of America.
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