This year, SPREP is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the signing of the SPREP Treaty, which brought about the establishment of the organisation as a separate, autonomous body, tasked with the protection and conservation of the Pacific environment.
The organisation has seen countless experts and passionate environmentalists over the past 30 years, from the Pacific region and around the world, who have contributed their knowledge and expertise to the building of a resilient Pacific environment.
It has also grown the SPREP Family, those who have worked in the organisation and with the organisation over the past 30 years – with many staff returning back to SPREP throughout their careers.
Within SPREP are several staff members that have been with the organisation from the very start.
This week we hear from Ms Lupe Silulu, the Records and Archives Officer who has been with SPREP since 1992.
As part of the SPREP 30th Celebrations, Ms Silulu shares some of her highlights from over the years.
Q: What is your favourite memory of SPREP?
A: One particular day we were all walking to work from the main road at Vaitele in Samoa when we were in our very first office in Samoa way back in the day, with a massive group of people (our Yazaki Factory neighbours) all going in one direction, but someone was holding up the traffic, causing a commotion. Guess who? It was Esera our SPREP gardener on the lawnmower going 10km to work! Another time while our SPREP Office was in Vaitele we ran out of storage room so we ended up using containers and had school students paint the outside of the containers with pictures of sea creatures and the environment. It was very creative.
Q: Having worked with SPREP, what are two key work activities or outcomes that you are most proud of?
Completing our Records Management Policy and managing the records and archives section which is on the go all time.
Q: What advice would you give to young people working to protect the environment?
A: I’d advise that we all be passionate about our environment and remember to share the knowledge we have about protecting it, and just what it means to us all, so that we never forget just how precious our environment is.
Q: What message do you have for the Secretariat as our Pacific celebrates 30 years of SPREP?
A: Wow! Time flies! We have come a long way and we are still paddling the va’a forward in unison. Malo lava everyone and God bless.
Thank you for your time, Lupe and Happy 30th Anniversary SPREP!