SPREP hosting the Australian delegation.
April 28, 2023
General News

28 April 2023, Apia Samoa - Celebrating 30 years of partnership for a sustainable, resilient Pacific, the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) hosted the Australian Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Honourable Mr. Pat Conroy on 12 April 2023.

SPREP commemorates its 30th year since the SPREP Treaty Agreement was signed in 1993.  Australia has been a strong supporter of SPREP as a founding member.  It is one of the largest funding support streams for the Secretariat, having signed a multiyear core funding arrangement of AUD 17.2 million in 2021 to support the core organisational and programme management functions of the organisation.

During the visit to SPREP, Hon. Minister Conroy outlined Australia’s bid to host the 31st Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the supporting role of SPREP in facilitating Pacific engagement.

Hon. Minister Conroy further highlighted the unique role SPREP and regional organisations have in supporting regional coordination saying, “Pacific regional organisations are vital to tackling our region’s shared challenges. We know that as a region, we are stronger together.”

This was echoed by Honourable Toeolesulusulu Cedric Schuster, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment for the Government of Samoa: “There is an important role of our donors and development partners such as Australia in supporting SPREP to enable it to deliver and support our Pacific environment priorities.  The impact of this valuable partnership is felt far and wide across our island region.”

The Ministers of Samoa and Australia, along with the Australian delegation, were presented with an overview of SPREP’s strategic priorities and work.  The Director General Mr Sefanaia Nawadra also noted the ongoing partnership projects such as the Pacific Ocean Litter Project and Weather Ready Pacific.  The Government of Australia has committed AUD 30 million to support the Weather Ready Pacific Programme to support Pacific Islands lives, security and livelihoods.

“SPREP has played a key role in supporting our Member countries in achieving their national priorities for a resilient Pacific.   Our work continues to serve our Members, and it is with the support from our partners such as Australia to help ensure that this happens.  We thank Australia and her people for the ongoing partnership between us,” said Mr Nawadra.

The visit ended with a tour of the SPREP campus and cutting of the SPREP 30th Anniversary cake.

The Honourable Minister Conroy thanked the Secretariat and the Government of Samoa for its work in supporting its Member countries to achieve a Resilient Pacific.

Honourable Minister Conroy was accompanied by Australian High Commissioner to Samoa H.E Emily Luck, Acting Chief of Staff Ms Bianca Birdsall, Assistant Secretary for Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Ms Kirsty McNeil, and other officials.  They met with Honourable Toeolesulusulu, Cedric Schuster, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment for the Government of Samoa, SPREP Director General Mr Sefanaia Nawadra, Deputy Director General Ms Easter Chu Shing and the Senior Leadership team, to discuss regional environment issues and the ongoing partnership for a Resilient Pacific.  The event took place on 12 April 2023 at the SPREP compound at Vailima, Samoa.

For further information, please contact Nanette Woonton, SPREP Communications and Outreach Adviser at [email protected]