Submitted by admin on Fri, 08/29/2014 - 03:13
August 29, 2014 by admin
General News
29 August 2014, Apia, Samoa - A long-established partnership between the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the Government of Samoa continues to flourish in the lead up to the Third International Conference on Small Islands Developing States.

SPREP and Samoa have a long history online
SPREP Meeting, 1992 in Apia, Samoa

"Samoa has been a most generous and supportive host country for SPREP since we arrived in 1992. Now is the opportune time for SPREP to support Samoa in hosting the historical event, one that happens only every decade, and for the first time, in a Pacific island nation," said Mr David Sheppard, Director General of SPREP.

"SPREP would like to warmly congratulate the Government and people of Samoa for their outstanding work in preparing for SIDS. The theme of this conference revolves around partnerships and we at SPREP are extremely appreciative of the support the Government has given us as host country and in the many partnerships we have developed, at all levels," he said.
"In the spirit of partnerships we have several initiatives underway to help strengthen the success of this conference. Already Samoa has done a wonderful job with communities rallying together to welcome delegates to this significant conference. We're very excited to be a part of this."

Since March, SPREP has worked with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Samoa (MNRE) to help prepare for the increase in waste with approximately 4,000 delegates coming to Samoa. This is a project carried out with the support of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Four months ago a waste audit was conducted of the SIDS conference accommodators followed by training and plans to help them prepare for the volume of waste. This month rubbish bins were distributed to accommodation providers and trash stands installed in the Apia area and along the Mulivai and Vaisigano Rivers.

Mr. Sefanaia Nawadra, the Director of Environmental Monitoring and Governance at SPREP notes: "We are here to provide any assistance as required by Samoa as the nation gears up to host one of the most important conferences ever, for Small Island Developing States. This is just one way we can assist through our partnership with MNRE."

Working together to place booms at riversLitter booms placed across the Vaisagano and Mulivai Rivers

Earlier this week a litter boom was placed across the mouth of the Vaisagano Rivers to collect waste flowing downstream and prevent it getting into the harbour. This was carried out in partnership with not only the Government of Samoa, but also local communities. It's the coming together of partnerships that will help ensure waste is reduced and that communities take care of the booms.

"We will be engaging with the village mayors and women's committees to try and encourage them to have ownership of keeping the river ways clean. The booms are a very effective tool for capturing rubbish, and we'll be using them on all the four rivers flowing into the Apia Harbour. Our meeting with the community and partners will stress the importance of looking after the booms while in place," said Mr. Fata Eti Malolo, Principal Water and Sanitation Officer with the MNRE.

In preparation of the arrival of the Pacific Jewel, a large cruise ship to provide additional accommodation for visitors, SPREP is helping to coordinate oil spill equipment and training for Ports Authority personnel. A three day training run in partnership with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and Marine New Zealand commenced on Tuesday 26 August. The training will cover a range of different aspects such as shoreline clean-up operations and first strike response planning - measures required for berthing a cruise ship in Apia.
Working togetherWorking together

"We're pleased to be able to provide practical support to help Samoa during this historical event," said Mr. Anthony Talouli, the Pollution adviser of SPREP.

"Building the capacity of members of the recently formed Marine Pollution Advisory Committee - Samoa Ports Authority, Ministry of Works, Transport and Infrastructure, Petroleum Product Supplies, Samoa Shipping Cooperation, Fire and Emergency Services Authority, Maritime Police so they are equipped with the skills and tools to do what is needed in the event of emergencies is another of the ways we can support."

The Third International Conference of Small Island Developing States will be held in Samoa from 1- 4 September. Support from SPREP will be ongoing with the coordination of a number of different side events taking place with the first being the Ocean Acidification workshop on board the Pacific Jewel jointly hosted by New Zealand and the United States in partnership with SPREP.

The SPREP compound in Apia, Samoa is also the site of parallel events over the duration of the conference.

For more on the partnership and support provided by SPREP please visit: http://www.sprep.org/sids

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