Mr. Ryan McLane, MFAT New Zealand
General News

16 April 2024, Apia, Samoa – As part of its commitment to the Pacific, the Government of Aotearoa New Zealand is building on its existing partnership with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), in support of a more resilient Pacific environment in the face of climate change and other threats. 

New Zealand is a Founding Member of the Secretariat and one of its largest funding sources, with funding from the Government not only supporting SPREP’s four technical programmes – Climate Change Resilience, Environmental Monitoring and Governance, Island and Ocean Ecosystems, and Waste Management and Pollution Control – but also its Core funding, which supports the executive, governance, and operations functions of the Secretariat. 

Earlier this year during a visit to the SPREP Headquarters in Vailima, Deputy Prime Minister of Aotearoa New Zealand, Hon. Winston Peters, announced that New Zealand will be providing additional funding support of NZD 15.2 million to the Secretariat to strengthen its support to its Pacific island Member countries in the face of threats posed by climate change. 

The Government of New Zealand also continued its support for the Moana Blue Pacific Pavilion and the Pacific Delegation Office at the UN climate change conference in Dubai last year. This support allowed SPREP to provide the Pacific delegations with a space to empower its negotiators and amplify their voices in order to advocate for Pacific people and communities, which are at the front-line of the impacts of climate change. 

The Government of New Zealand signed a Grant Funding Arrangement of NZD 20 million in 2023 towards the Pacific Regional Invasive Species Management Support Service, a coordinating mechanism deigned to facilitate the scaling up of operational management of invasive species in the Pacific. 

Group picture
The delegation from New Zealand with SPREP's Climate Change Resilience team. Photo: L.Moananu/SPREP

“We are grateful for the Government of New Zealand’s continued commitment to supporting the work of the Secretariat through its contribution to our core and programme funding,” SPREP Director General, Mr. Sefanaia Nawadra, said.

“Today’s bilateral discussions provided an opportunity for our SPREP programmes to provide an update on how the funding from New Zealand will be used to help our Pacific island Members be more resilient in the face of climate change and other threats such as biodiversity loss and plastic pollution,” Mr. Nawadra said. 

The New Zealand delegation consisted of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Mr. Ryan McLane, Lead Adviser on Climate Change, and Ms. Michelle Sheriff, Senior Adviser on Climate Change and Environment, along with Ms. Danica Stent, International Manager of the Department of Conservation. 

“We are delighted to be in Apia to strengthen our relationship with SPREP. SPREP is a priority partner for us, with a key role to support a Pacific response to the critical challenges of climate change and environmental protection,” Mr. McLane said. 

The delegation met with the SPREP technical programmes and Governance and Operations Team discussing key successes, challenges and opportunities to strengthen the partnership and the delivery of key outcomes and results. 

For more information, please contact Ms. Audrey Brown Pereira, SPREP Executive Officer, at [email protected].