15 November 2022, Sharm El Sheikh - The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and Australia’s national science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) have signed a partnership agreement that will benefit the Pacific region.
The signing between SPREP’s Director General, Mr Sefanaia Nawadra and CSIRO’s Director of the Climate Science Centre, Dr Jaclyn Brown, took place at the Australian Pavilion at COP27 in the Egyptian Red Sea city of Sharm El Sheikh. The occasion was well attended by COP27 delegates, including Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS) representatives and Australia's Ambassador for Climate Change, Ms Kristin Tille.
“SPREP is very honoured to be continuing this partnership with CSIRO, one of the world’s premier research organisations and the largest in Australasia. This partnership has yielded country focused climate change science research and information currently utilised by countries.
“Our collaboration will allow continued access to the vast resources at CSIRO and help build the capacity of our own national scientific and research organisations to enable collection of environmental data, analysis and interpretation to help them to address the impacts of climate change our communities and countries are already experiencing and suffering from,” said Director General Mr Nawadra.
“SPREP doesn’t only help Pacific Island countries address climate change but also biodiversity, environmental governance, waste and pollution issues that our countries face. CSIRO has research capacity and expertise in all these areas so the collaboration that will yield benefits for SPREP and benefit CSIRO through SPREP’s convening capacity and capacity for enabling science to be translated to policy and actions to address climate change.
“We know that through this collaboration, we will be able to build the capacity of most of our Pacific member countries and foster innovation that’s needed to address the multiple impacts of environmental challenges they are facing. This signing was witnessed by many National Meteorological Services Directors of the Pacific who are Custodians of the climate change science at the national level. They recognise the importance of this MOU in enabling us to continue to build capacity of member states to engage meaningfully in science.”
Dr. Brown said CSIRO and SPREP have a long history of working together.
“This MOU is a start, in the next phase, we are hoping to open CSIRO up to the Pacific more broadly, to bring in our colleagues across the many disciplines in CSIRO. We have energy, agriculture, food, health and biosecurity and the environment business unit and even artificial intelligence,” she said.
Dr. Brown added that understanding culture and people in climate change is an extremely important aspect of the collaboration.
“We all have a strong passion to understand the Australian indigenous perspective, their traditional knowledge and how we join that with our experience in western science, the same way the Pacific islanders are very passionate about utilising traditional knowledge and keeping that culture as the number one priority.”
The 27th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP27) is being held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt from 6 to 18 November 2022.
It is being attended by Pacific leaders and their delegations, who are advocating for their survival. The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) is lead of the One CROP, working together to provide support to Pacific Islands.
The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) is the lead regional organisation for the protection and sustainable development of Pacific island environments.
SPREP was established by its Member governments in 1992 to support cooperation and coordination on environmental matters in the region. The agreement establishing SPREP came into force in 1993, officially making the organisation an autonomous body.
With headquarters in Apia, Samoa, SPREP works closely with its 26 Member countries and territories – along with partners, donors and local communities – to deliver on environmental management and sustainable development in the region in four priority areas: Biodiversity and Ecosystem Management, Waste Management and Pollution Control, Climate Change Resilience and Environmental Monitoring and Governance.
CSIRO is Australia’s national science agency which works with partners to address the greatest challenges through science and technology, delivering impacts that benefit our community, industry and the environment. CSIRO is a publicly-funded research organisation, enabling the organisation to bring multidisciplinary skills to solve national challenges and create new opportunities.