11 SPREP members sign on to Pacific Whale Declaration
- Published on 06 April 2017
The declaration calls for strengthened whale conservation across the Pacific region and saw Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga and Tuvalu sign on to the declaration, the full text of which as below:
Suzi Heaton, Department of Environment and Energy, Australia
AWARE that some populations of these species are now recovering in numbers, thanks to the global moratorium on commercial whaling imposed and maintained by the International Whaling Commission;
Hon. Kiriau Turepu, Minister for Environment, Cook Islands
AWARE also that recovering populations of whales in the Pacific island countries and territories are now at risk from an emerging range of new threats, including climate change, entanglement in marine debris, by-catch in fishing operations, noise and pollution;
Fiji Delegation - Mr Joshya Wycliffe, Permanent Secretary for Environment, Fiji (middle) signed on
ENDORSING the Year of the Whale theme that whales are living sentinels that reflect and contribute to the health of our oceans;
GRATEFULLY ACKNOWLEDGING the generous hospitality of the Government of Tonga and the excellent arrangements provided to host the Whales in a Changing Ocean conference;
ACKNOWLEDGING the contributions of regional and international agencies, IGOs, NGOs, private sector and others to promote the recovery of whale populations;
Amy Laurenson, Special Advisor, MFAT, New Zealand
RECOGNISE that lost and abandoned fishing gear is one of the most harmful forms of marine debris for whales, and that accelerated action to prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution is needed;
COMMEND SPREP's commitment to the production of a Whale and Dolphin Action Plan to provide a framework for conservation activities in the Pacific islands region 2018-2023;
Soumynie Kartadiwirja, Chief of Staff for Hon Anthony Lecren, New Caledonia
REQUEST the experts at the Whales in a Changing Ocean conference to work with SPREP to develop a draft Whale and Dolphin Action Plan for their review and endorsement at the SPREP Annual Meeting in September 2017;
REQUEST SPREP to engage with Pacific islands and territories and others to identify key capacity development needs for the conservation of whales, for consideration in the 2018-2023 Whale and Dolphin Action Plan;
Percy Bitoch Rechelluul, Senior Fisheries Adviser, Palau
COMMIT our governments to collaborations with other Pacific islands and territories to provide a secure future for whales in the Pacific islands region;
WELCOME the engagement and contribution of all stakeholders in this endeavour, including IGOs, NGOs, academia, the private sector, civil society and local communities;
Michael Kaiglo Bongro, Director for Special Projecs, CEPA, Papua New Guinea
WELCOME new partnerships including multilateral organisations, to implement voluntary commitments by Pacific islands and territories to meet the aspirations of this Declaration.
The Declaration will remain open for signature until 31 December, 2017 – Whales in a Changing Ocean Conference
Hon Fiame Naomi Mata'afa, Deputy Prime Minister, Samoa
Mikaele Fatia, Director Environment & Fisheries, Tokelau
Hon. Semisi Fakahau, Minister of Fisheries, Tonga
Fakavae Taomia, CEO, Office of the Prime Minster, Tuvalu
The Whales in a Changing Ocean Conference from 4 – 6 April, 2017 in Nuku'alofa, Tonga, is hosted by the Government of Tonga, the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the Auckland Institute of Studies (AIS).
Sponsoring the event with the Government of Tonga, SPREP and AIS - is the Government of Australia; Government of New Zealand; Government of Sweden; the Okeanos Foundation; European Union through the Pacific Community and the INTEGRE project; Fonds Pacifique; Digicel; and Deep Blue Diving Tonga.
Uniting with conference coordinators and sponsors to partner for the Whales in a Changing Ocean Conference are the Animal Welfare Institute; Blue Climate Solutions; CET Law; Humane Society International; International Fund for Animal Welfare; Pattillo Ltd: South Pacific Tourism Organisation; South Pacific Whale Research Consortium; Tanoa International Dateline Hotel; Vava'u Environment Protection Association; and World Cetacean Alliance.
The Whales in a Changing Ocean Conference is held from 4 – 6 April at the Tanoa International Dateline Hotel in Nuku'alofa, Tonga.
For further information please visit: http://www.sprep.org/whales-in-a-changing-ocean-conference-2017/home