Koror, Palau, 24 February 2019 - Palau, home to a rich and unique biodiversity, was the focus of a capacity building workshop this week to ensure environment data and information is used as a key part in environmental monitoring and decision making.
The workshop was a collaboration between the Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment, and Tourism (MNRET) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) through the regional Inform project.
Working with Pacific island countries to report to the various multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) such as the Convention on Biological Diversity, an objective of the Inform Project is to address the on-going challenge of compiling high-quality, and up to date data on the environment. This includes the establishment of a central, well managed repository to store, organise and share data.
“SPREP continues to work with national governments by providing an enabling environment to support the implementation of MEAs for improved management of the environment and natural resources, and help reduce biodiversity loss,” said Ms. Easter Galuvao, Director of Environmental Monitoring and Governance Programme of SPREP.
Palau is in the process of developing its 2019 State of Environment (SoE) Report. Data and information collected during the SoE process will be stored on the portal and will provide useful input for future SoE reports. Similarly, the portal will also help Palau in developing its Sixth National Report to the Convention on Biological Diversity, which Palau is a party to.
The Inform project was presented to a new group of stakeholders during a one-day workshop on Palau protected areas, conducted on Wednesday 20 February, as part of national activities of the Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management Project (BIOPAMA).
The BIOPAMA project supports the Pacific Islands Protected Areas Portal a storage point for protected areas data and information across the Pacific island region.
The workshop in Palau highlighted the linkages between the Inform and BIOPAMA initiatives and how this could benefit and catalyse Palau’s efforts to manage and backup environmental information and specific protected area data over the long term.
“It was an eye opener. For many years we have been talking about this one place where all this environmental information is stored, but it is the sharing of data that has not been communicated well between the agencies. Hopefully we will be able to establish a system that has accessible information for everybody,” said Ms. Joyce K Beonch of MNRET, a participant at the workshop.
Another participant, Ms. Lolita Gibbons-Decherong of Palau Conservation Society said, “It has been long overdue for Palau, so the environmental data portal is something we definitely need. We have very strong entities that are very dedicated to the work they do, but there has not been an effort that brings all this information together, and organises and analyses them further.”
The SPREP mission to Palau from 18 to 22 February, 2019 consisted of Ms Julie Callebaut, Environmental Monitoring and Reporting GIS Specialist, Inform project, and Mr Vainuupo Jungblut, Protected Areas Officer, BIOPAMA. The team worked closely with the Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism and the Palau Protected Areas Network Office.
The four-year regional Inform project (2017-2021), managed through the Environmental Monitoring and Governance Programme of SPREP is funded through the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and implemented by UN Environment. It is executed by SPREP in the 14 Pacific island countries of the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.
For more information on the Inform Project, please contact Mr. Paul Anderson, Inform Project Manager on email: [email protected].
To learn more about EMG and the Inform project, please click here.
To learn more about Environment Data portals please click here.