Invasive species coordinators and practitioners from around the Pacific have gathered at the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) in Apia, Samoa for a five-week Invasive Species Programme Management Course.
The course was organised and is being run by the Pacific Regional Invasive Species Management Support Service (PRISMSS), a regional mechanism which facilitates the scaling-up of on-the-ground invasive species management in the Pacific.
The objective of the course is to help Invasive species practitioners plan and prepare a programme of work which they can take back with them to help manage invasive species in their own countries.
SPREP’s Invasive Species adviser, Mr David Moverley, said, “Invasive species is a big issue in the Pacific – it is the highest driver of biodiversity loss in our islands, which makes this course so important to the work that is being undertaken to combat this issue.
“Over the next five weeks, participants will be able to prepare and plan for a programme of work that will help them manage invasive species in their own countries, and it will identify gaps in existing knowledge and aim to bridge these gaps.”
There are five main components of the course, each of which will be covered through the next five weeks.
Ms. Mimosa Bethel, Biosafety and Invasive Species Officer from Vanuatu, said, “We have a lot of invasive species back home in Vanuatu. As Biosafety and Invasive Species officer, I want to learn more about the management side of eradicating the twenty priority species.
“I also want to learn more about how we can acquire funding to assist our country with the management of these species and also develop a relationship with other government departments from around the Pacific so we can share lessons and learn from each other on best practices in eradicating invasive species in the Pacific.”
Mr Vatapu’ia Maiava, Terrestrial Conservation Officer for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Samoa, said, “My office works a lot with invasive species control and it is a very important, but at times demanding, task. I hope to gain a better understanding on the management of invasive species so that I can better mould my work plan in a more informed and organised way.
“Aside from learning from experts in this field, I look forward to learning alongside those from around the Pacific region who are also attending this workshop, and listen to their success stories from their respective islands and seeing if Samoa can also benefit the same way.
“One thing’s for sure, I will definitely walk away with a much better insight into better management of Samoa’s fair share of invasive species,” Mr. Maiava concluded.
The PRISMSS and the Programme Management Course are established under the Global Environment Facility (GEF) 6 Project titled “Strengthening National and Regional Capacities to Reduce the Impact of Invasive Alien Species on globally significant biodiversity in the Pacific.” It is funded by GEF, implemented by UN Environment and executed by SPREP and partner countries Niue, Republic of Marshall Islands, Tonga and Tuvalu.
The Programme Management Course is being held at the SPREP Campus from 22 October to 22 November.
You can access the PRISMSS brochure at this link.