Pacific Delegates Amplify Their Voice at International Association for Impact Assessment Conference.
The 42nd Annual Conference of the International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA) was held in Kuching, Malaysia from 8 - 12 May 2023 which brought together over 600 environmental assessment practitioners, researchers, and policymakers from around the world to discuss how impact assessment and leadership can accelerate transformation and sustain resilience in a world marred by pressing adversities that require immediate and impactful solutions.
The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme supported three Pacific delegates attending the conference. The participation of SPREP's and representatives from its member countries underscores the organizations commitment to building national capacity for environmental assessments and planning by facilitating knowledge sharing and collaborations at the international level. The conference was also a platform to strengthen its key partnerships in the field of environmental assessment and planning in the Pacific.
Strengthening Strategic Environmental Assessments in the Pacific
The Strengthening Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEA) in the Pacific Webinar brought together seasoned professionals, policymakers, environmental regulators, practitioners, civil society organizations, academics and other stakeholders involved in environmental decision-making in the Pacific region. It was held on 5 April 2023.
The webinar event featured presentations from New Zealand Associations for Impact Assessment (NZAIA) and built on Regional SEA Guidelines for Pacific Island Countries and Territories developed by SPREP 2020. It provided an in-depth overview of the principles and practices of SEA and discussed the unique challenges and opportunities in the Pacific region.
In light of SPREP's 30th anniversary, the webinar was also an opportunity to reflect on SPREP's sustained efforts on environmental governance and to recommit advancing environmental and social sustainability in the Pacific.
Calls for Ambitious Targets to Reverse and End Plastic Pollution
One Pacific voice to amplify our island region coalition to end plastic pollution. It sets an ambitious target to reverse and end plastic pollution by 2040. The Second Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC2) was held in the Cook Islands from 24 – 25 April 2023. The two-days meeting will form the Pacific strategy for a united way forward. The UN Environment Assembly passed a resolution in February 2022 to develop a legally binding instrument to end plastic pollution including that within our marine environment.
More than eight million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year with 40% of the world ocean’s surface is covered in plastic debris. Living within the largest of the world’s oceans, the Pacific Islands are uniting to build One Pacific Voice to amplify our Island region concerns. As the Pacific region contributes 1.3% to global plastic pollution.
The Pacific Regional Preparatory Workshop is convened by the Secretariat of the Pacific Environment Programme (SPREP) with funding support from the Government of Australia and Capacity Building Related Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) in Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Region Phase III. Read more https://www.sprep.org/news/cook-islands-calls-for-ambitious-targets-to-reverse-and-end-plastic-pollution
The Cook Islands Proactively Conserving Biodiversity
A two days’ workshop was held in the Cook Islands from the 24 – 25 January 2023 to assist national practitioners and policy makers to gain an insight into potential Other Effect Area-based Conservation Measures (OECM) concept. OECMs are not Protected Areas but are geographically defined areas that are governed and managed in ways that sustain positive and sustained long-term conservation. The two days' workshop brings together stakeholders to discuss the possible benefits and drawback of recognizing and reporting these areas and learn about the tools and assistance available. The Director of Cook Islands National Environment Service said “We are excited by the opportunities that OECMs will bring, we look forward to reviewing the value of these in the Cook Islands. They enable and empower our local communities that are currently conserving areas either on land or in our waters, to be acknowledge for their work and environment achievements hopefully leading to further support.”
The value of our "Protected Areas" goes beyond financial cost to that which help sustain our well-being be it sustainable water resourcing, food security, supporting our Cook Islands economies and uplifting our culture. OECMs are one way that we canl all work together at all levels to invest and increase this value in our island nation. Read more The Cook Islands, proactively conserving biodiversity | Pacific Environment (sprep.org)
Capacity Building in Drone Training for Samoa
The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) through the Environmental Monitoring and Governance (EMG) programme conducted a two-day Drone Training and Mapping workshop with key national environment stakeholders from Samoa’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE) and Ministry of Works, Transport, and Infrastructure (MWTI).
The two days’ workshop was coordinated by Environmental Monitoring and Governance Programme (EMG) and supported by MNRE. It was held at the Pacific Climate Change Centre (PCCC) on Thursday, 17t and Friday 18 November 2022. The Drone Training and Mapping workshop was also part of the 2022 Global GIS Week event at SPREP organized by the GIS unit with the theme “Inspiring Spatial Citizens”.
The importance of drone imagery in capturing real-time ground information for GIS analysis has been used in different fields, as a monitoring and decision-making supporting tool in Disaster management; Forest resources management; Landslides risk assessment; Mining; Flood control; Hazardous waste considerations; Environmental Impact Analysis (EIA) and Natural resources management to ensure sustainable development. With a drone, it is possible to carry out topographic surveys of the same quality as the highly accurate measurements collected by traditional methods, but in a fraction of the time. Capacity Building in Drone Mapping for Samoa | Pacific Environment (sprep.org)
Cook Island's National Environment Service Applauds Training Workshop on Environmental Governance and Sustainable Management.
The Environmental Planning Unit of the Environmental Monitoring and Governance (EMG) programme of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) has delivered and in-country training workshop to the National Environment Services (NES) of the Cook Islands from 7 – 11 November 2022. The week-long programme was hosted at the NES office in Rarotonga and attended by over 20 officers from the Service. The training focused on raising the capacity of NES on Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs), Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA). Cook Island’s National Environment Service Applauds Training Workshop on Environmental Governance and Sustainable Management. | Pacific Environment (sprep.org)
Data Critical to Good Environment Decision-Making
Data collection and management in the Pacific region is challenging and expensive in terms of time, funds, and resources. The issues concerning the collection, management, processing integration and dissemination of environmental data were highlighted at the Moana Blue Pacific Pavilion in Sharm El-Sheikh during the second week of the COP27 climate change negotiations get underway. The GEF funded UNEP-SPREP Inform project addressed several of these issues by establishing data tools, strategic partnerships, and products together with processes to assist Pacific Island countries to meet identified priorities and to report back on national, regional, and global reporting obligations.
To meet these obligations, the ACP MEA 3 project is working together with the Inform project to ensure that data and the reporting processes from the national environment and climate change ministries meet the various multilateral environmental agreements that Pacific Island countries are parties to, such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The “talanoa” session was formally closed by SPREP’s Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) Coordinator, Ms Anastacia Amoa-Stowers. Data critical to good environment decision-making, COP27 hears | Pacific Environment (sprep.org)
ACP MEAs Phase 3 Regional Hubs Meet at the Project Steering Committee
The meeting brought together representatives from the European Commission, the OACPS Secretariat, UNEP, FAO and its partners, the African Union, the Caribbean Community Secretariat (CARICOM), the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) also the Secretariat of the Noumea Convention, the European Environment Bureau, the Nairobi Convention Secretariat, Abidjan Convention Secretariat and Cartagena Convention Secretariat. Read ACP MEAs Phase 3 Regional Hubs Meet at the Project Steering Committee | Pacific Environment (sprep.org)
Understanding Tools for Protected Area Management Effectiveness in the Pacific.
The goal to effectively manage protected and conserved areas in the Pacific has taken an important step forward with development of the Comparative Analysis of Protected Area Management Effectiveness (PAME) evaluation tools for the region.
Speaking at the launch Dr. Pisupati highlighted the key partnership between the APCMEAs 3 project and the BIOPAMA programme which has facilitated the development of the Comparative Analysis, which he added, was relevant to current initiatives and processes including the 30x30 protected target in relation to the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) on plastics, and their regional seas programme.
The PAME Evaluation Tools will help to develop a strategy going forward and continuing to build capacity in the region for management effectiveness of protected and conserved areas. Read more…Understanding tools for Protected Area Management Effectiveness in the Pacific | Pacific Environment (sprep.org)
The Vanuatu State of Environment Report and ACP/MEA 3 Awareness Meeting Participants in Vanuatu.
The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) throught the Environment Monitoring Governance (EMG) Programme co-facilitated with the Vbnauat Department of Environmental Protection & Conservation (DEPC) form 15-17 August a validation meeting of the Vanuatu State of Environment (SoE) report. The meeting also gives the opportunity for SPREP to brief and make awareness to the Vanuatu Departent of Environmental Protection & Conservation (DEPC) the support formt he ACP/MEa 3 programme on Environmental Impact Assessment how we will engage on important strategic environmetal governance and monitoring issues. This is in line with ACP/MEA 3 support to member countries in strenthening best practices of environment assessment and planning for its member countries. A plan is in place to deliver ta secotr wide traijing for Vanuatu in 2021 with the focus to strenthen integrated environment auditing of development projects in Vanuatu by relevant sectors.