The partnership between the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the French Marine Protected Areas Agency was strengthened today with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the two organisations.
L – R Mr David Sheppard of SPREP and Mr Christophe Lefebvre of the French MPA Agency signing the MoU
"We are delighted to be signing this partnership MoU as this will allow us to take our work and partnership to the next level," said Mr. David Sheppard, Director-General of SPREP.
"Of the 33,000 islands that encompass our SPREP Pacific island members, 2% of that is land surface and 98% of it is water – our Pacific island countries and territories have worked together to establish large Marine Protected Areas and through this partnership we can help strengthen this work. This is an important contribution to the strategic priorities of the Pacific Oceanscape Framework."
The target for the French Marine Protected Area is to conserve 10% of the oceans through marine protected areas, and 20% of waters under French jurisdiction. France has the second-largest maritime zone in the world with around 4.2 million square miles spread across the globe.
"It is a pleasure for us to sign this MoU again, it is a positive indication that our partnership is working and growing," said Cristophe Lefebvre of the French Marine Protected Areas Agency.
"As part of this cooperation with SPREP we will work with the different Pacific island members to collaborate and support marine management and protection in this island region."
Through this reinforced collaboration there will be a strengthened exchange of technical and the practical experiences regarding marine protected areas issues, as well as a range of related aspects.
The signing of the MoU took place on the sidelines of the Fifth Pacific Environment Forum in Apia, Samoa today.