Submitted by angelicas on Wed, 03/31/2021 - 09:12
Stuart Chape - Monu and Monuriki Islands, Fiji
March 31, 2021 by angelicas
Environmental Monitoring and Governance

Support for informed decision making when it comes to our environment, grows across the Pacific islands through the Inform Project.  It has helped Pacific islands to access their national environmental data sets to ensure data-drive and support decision making.

Data-driven decision making is the use of facts, and data to help develop policies to achieve goals and initiatives.    

A virtual regional meeting was held on 25 March 2021 to provide Inform project countries an update on the project’s current outcomes, including an introduction to the upcoming E-learning Moodle and the Indicator Reporting Tool (IRT).  Discussions were also held on expected upgrades to all national data portals and an overview of the project moving forward beyond 2022.

“We have identified existing data gaps and are working with colleagues and partners to address these, such as the expansion of the Pacific environment network, and with more consistent integration with other projects at SPREP and regional partners, the data gaps will begin to shrink” said Mr Paul Anderson, Inform Project Manager at the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).

“One of the key priorities right now for the Inform project is to gather feedback from our Members on current priority needs, and hopefully provide support to help them achieve national objectives and goals which will ensure the sustainability of their national environmental data portals.”

Mr Anderson provided an overview of 2020 achievements with the Inform project such as the successful launch of six national State of Environment (SoE) Reports for Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Tonga, and the completion of the  National Environment Management Strategy (NEMS) for Papua New Guinea.

These will contribute to better decision making towards sustainable development within those countries.

Inform regional virtual meeting participants

“We have greatly benefited from this SPREP implemented and GEF funded Inform project, particularly through the establishment of our very own online data portal - the RMI portal, which was recently proven useful when it came to developing our 6th national report to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity,” said Mr Warwick Harris, the Climate Change Directorate Deputy Director of the Republic of the Marshall Islands Ministry of Environment (RMI).

“RMI also developed its SoE in 2016 and this year, we are scheduled to develop another. We know that the environment data portal will play a pivotal role in this endeavour. Moreover, under this Inform Project, we have also developed a Data Sharing Policy and our Standard Operating Procedures for data management. These are slated for Cabinet endorsement later this month.”

In addition to the SoEs and NEMS, the Inform project notably expanded the Pacific environment network to include SPREP’s Pacific Environmental Information Network and is looking to include additional waste data available through the PacWastePlus Project.

The “Building National and Regional Capacity to Implement Multilateral Environmental Agreements by Strengthening Planning and the State of Environmental Assessment and Reporting in the Pacific", more commonly known as the Inform project is funded by the Global Environment Facility, implemented by UN Environment and executed by SPREP.

The Inform project is establishing national environment data portals in 14 Pacific island countries including Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Republic of Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu. The Inform project is based with SPREP’s Environmental Monitoring and Governance Programme.

For more information on the Inform project, please contact, Mr Paul Anderson, Project Manager, email: [email protected]. For more information on the Inform Project, please visit the project website. For more information on the environmental portals, please visit the Pacific Environment Portal.