General News

6 September 2023, Apia – The newly revamped website for the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) is live. 

The website was officially launched by SPREP’s Deputy Director General, Ms Easter Chu Shing, on the margins of the 31st SPREP Meeting of Officials in Apia, Samoa. Ms Chu Shing said the launch of the new website is in line with SPREP’s Information and Communications Technology Strategy, which supports the strengthening of the Secretariat’s digital and virtual capacity. 

“This is the fifth iteration of the website and we’re very excited to share this with our Members and partners at the 31st SPREP Meeting, and for it to be used by students, researchers, and other users and seekers of environmental information,” Ms Chu Shing said. 

The new website will integrate all other SPREP platforms such as the SPREP Virtual Library and SPREP’s Project Management Information System. Any time a new publication is uploaded to the virtual library, or a new event or project uploaded to the PMIS, it will instantly appear on the new homepage. 

The new website also embraces the use of Artificial Intelligence, through “Moana”, the automated chat bot which can be used by visitors to the SPREP website to ask questions or get help.  It also boasts several accessibility features which will allow users with visual, auditory, motor and cognitive impairments to use the website’s many features with ease. 

“We have come a long way since the first SPREP website was launched in 1998. The first version of the website was a simple, text-based website only, and the newly launched website is also a way to show how far we’ve come as an organisation in terms of building our ICT capacity,” Ms Chu Shing added.

“The launch of this new website also comes at an opportune time, as we are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Secretariat along with all our Members and partners who are present in Apia this week for the 31st Meeting of Officials.”

The new website was developed by Mr Billy Chan Ting, Web Applications Development Specialist, supported by the SPREP Information Technology team. IT Manager, Mr Christian Slaven, said the website and also the utilisation of SPREP projects of digital technology to aid in the delivery of its Mandated work of protecting and conserving the Pacific environment is a testament to the dedication and commitment of SPREP’s Director General and Deputy Director General to a digital transformation for the organisation. 

“The leadership shown by SPREP’s Executive is in line with the many advancements in technology, has resulted in the strengthened digital capacity of the organisation, not only through this new website, but through the work of our many projects and programmes who have taken advantage of the benefits of technology to achieve a resilient Pacific environment,” Mr Slaven added. 

The 31st SPREP Meeting of Officials and associated meetings are taking place at Taumeasina Island Resort in Samoa this week, from 4-8 September 2023. The meetings are guided by the theme: “SPREP@30th Sustainable, transformative and resilient for a Blue Pacific.”  

The 31st SPREP Meeting of Officials and associated meetings bring together SPREP's 21 Pacific Island Member countries, 5 Metropolitan Members and partners to discuss strategic issues pertaining to the organisation, and to approve the 2024-2025 work plan. The 21 Pacific Island Member countries and territories of SPREP are: American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Vanuatu and Wallis and Futuna. The five Metropolitan members of SPREP are: Australia, France, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States of America. 

In our efforts to fulfil our vision of ‘a resilient Pacific environment, sustaining our livelihoods and natural heritage in harmony with our cultures’, SPREP is extremely grateful to our valued Members, development partners, donors, our CROP family, and stakeholders.  

For more information on the 31SM, please contact: [email protected]