26 September, 2018 - The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) on an invitation from the Samoa Ministry of Justice hosted a luncheon event for delegates to the Pacific Judicial Conference on Tuesday 25th September 2018 to raise awareness on emerging environmental threats within the Pacific island region.
The event underlined the importance of adopting proper environmental management and planning processes supported by appropriate policy tools such as Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).These planning processes and policies are there to ensure safeguards are in place and adopting the precautionary approach on environmental and social impacts from major developments such as mineral prospecting and sea bed mining.
Pacific Judges engaged in the SPREP presentation over lunch
SPREP’s Environmental Planning Adviser Mr. Jope Davetanivalu presented on SPREP’s work on Environmental Impact Assessment and highlighted Deep Sea Mining as a new emerging development driver. “There is interest from mining companies and governments to explore the potential commercial benefits from seabed resources such as seafloor massive sulphides, manganese nodules, cobalt-rich crusts. There is also increasing demand from new technologies for metals and minerals. However, it is also important to note that the deep sea ocean floor is home to a diversity of marine life which is critical to the health of the ocean of which Pacific livelihoods depend on,” said Jope.
Key messages conveyed through the SPREP presentation were well received by the Judges as it raised their level of awareness on some of the emerging environmental threats currently facing the Pacific. SPREP was acknowledged for its continued work in the area of environmental monitoring and governance particularly on capacity training and awareness-raising on Environment Impact Assessment as a tool for improved decision making.
This was the first time SPREP had engaged formally with an audience of esteemed senior judges from around the Pacific island region and was also a great opportunity for SPREP to establish networks with Pacific island Judiciary Systems particularly in the area of environmental law enforcement.
The event was made possible through financial support from the European Union ACPMEA Phase 2 capacity building project implemented through UN Environment and executed by SPREP.
To learn more about the ACPMEAs project, please visit http://www.sprep.org/Projects/acp-meas-project