Our very own Pacific Convention to protect our natural resources and environment known as the Noumea Convention was recognised as a cornerstone of our regional collective efforts in addressing the environmental challenges facing our region.
Contracting Parties to the Noumea Convention are attending a two-day meeting held intersessionally to discuss the way forward following a review. Adopted in 1986, the Convention and its related Protocols entered into force in 1990, were developed on a smaller subset of regional issues compared to what is faced by the Pacific today.
In 2019, the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) was mandated to conduct a review to assess the effectiveness and relevance of the Convention and its Secretariat. The outcomes of this review are to identify areas where further action is required and highlight gaps and limitations.
“The objectives of this Ad Hoc Meeting are pivotal in charting the way forward for the Noumea Convention. We gather here today with the shared goal of reviewing the findings of the report on the relevance and future direction of the Noumea Convention. As Contracting Parties to the Convention, it is our shared goal to explore opportunities to strengthen the Convention,” said the Acting Director General of SPREP, Ms Easter Chu-Shing at the opening of the Ad Hoc Meeting of the Parties to the Noumea Convention.
“At the heart of our discussions lies the profound connection between the Noumea Convention and the rich cultures, heritage, and values of the Pacific. The environment is not just a physical entity; it embodies the essence of who we are as Pacific Islanders. It is embedded and entrenched in our traditions, knowledge systems, and ways of life.”
Contracting Parties to the Noumea Convention are Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, France, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, United States of America.
Of the 12 countries that are Parties only one is not a signatory to both Protocols adopted under the Convention. Not all SPREP Members have signed onto the Noumea Convention. These Protocols include the Dumping Protocol, Emergencies Protocol, Oil Pollution Protocol not in force and a Hazardous and Noxious Substances Pollution, Preparedness, Response and Cooperation in the Pacific Region Protocol also not yet in force.
Over the two-day period it is planned that Parties will have a proposed pathway forward on resourcing and financial stability of the Noumea Convention, the development of both a Monitoring and Reporting Plan and a Communications and Awareness Plan and a proposed strategy on ways to strengthen the Secretariat.
Stronger linkages to other Regional Seas Conventions and existing regional frameworks managed by the Secretariat will also be explored during the meeting.
“Let us embrace this opportunity to strengthen our collective membership as Contracting Parties to propose and agree on a clear roadmap for the way forward,” presented Ms Chu-Shing.
“Let this be equipped with concrete actions and recommendations that will enhance the effectiveness of the Noumea Convention, promote its relevance to the ongoing and present environmental threats and provide direction for the Secretariat in the discharge of its roles and functions.”
The Ad Hoc Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Noumea Convention to discuss the Report on the review of the Noumea Convention is held in Apia, Samoa from 14 and 15 June for which Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and the United States are attending.
For further information on the Noumea Convention please visit: https://www.sprep.org/convention-secretariat/noumea-convention