Submitted by leannem on Thu, 03/12/2020 - 15:59
Stuart Chape
March 12, 2020 by leannem
Island and Ocean Ecosystems

The 10th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas, which was scheduled to take place from 19 – 24 April 2020, has been postponed to later in 2020. 

The decision to defer the conference to a later date, yet to be confirmed, has been made by the conference host, the Government of New Caledonia and partners, the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the Pacific Islands Roundtable for Nature Conservation (PIRT) in response to the spread of the  coronavirus disease (COVID-19), which has now surpassed 100,000 confirmed cases worldwide according to the World Health Organization. A number of major planned meetings around the world have been postponed or cancelled in response to the outbreak.

The Government of New Caledonia said in a media release issued yesterday, “Due to the evolution of the coronavirus around the world, the organisers of the 10th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas have decided to postpone this regional event. to protect the health and safety of all participants”. 

To date, there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Caledonia or the Pacific. However, the region is on high alert with many Pacific islands placing travel restrictions or bans in an effort to protect the health of their citizens and those living within their borders.

Director General of SPREP, Mr Kosi Latu, said that postponing the conference is in the best interests of everyone involved, and assured partners, stakeholders and those who had registered to attend and participate in the conference, that it will go ahead at a date which will be confirmed in the near future. 

“I can assure you all that the conference will indeed be held at a later date, which SPREP is working in partnership with the Government of New Caledonia and PIRT to confirm. We will continue to monitor the developments of COVID-19 around the world and also within our region,” said Mr Latu.

The 10th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas is organised every five to six years by SPREP and PIRT. An estimated 600 biodiversity and nature conservation stakeholders were expected to meet in Noumea, New Caledonia in April for the conference. 

For more information or updates please visit the Conference webpage or  contact the team at [email protected].