The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) hosted a workshop to create core indicators from 28-31 May 2018, which will measure environmental issues related to climate change, marine life, and waste management.
The workshop included an introductory session with staff from SPREP’s four technical programmes: Climate Change Resilience (CCR), Environmental Monitoring and Governance (EMG), Island and Ocean Ecosystems (IOE), and Waste Management and Pollution Control (WMPC). Staff from the Strategic Planning Department also joined the session. Staff spent the remainder of the week discussing how they define success for their programme goals, and drafting indicators to measure that success. The final indicators will routinely monitor environmental conditions and changes in the Pacific Island region.
To create the indicators, SPREP is collaborating with two renowned scientists from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), based in Hobart, Australia.
Mr Paul Anderson, Inform Project Manager at SPREP, with Dr Piers Dustan, Team Leader with CSIRO Ocean and Atmosphere (Photo credit: CSIRO)
Dr Piers Dunstan, Team Leader with CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere, is helping Pacific Island countries develop their capacity to manage, conserve and sustainably use oceans, and has conducted this work within the Australia’s Exclusive Economic Zone, with the Convention on Biological Diversity, and other agencies.
Dr Dunstan said teaming with SPREP to create the indicators is important for good environmental governance and aligns well with CSIRO’s work.
“It’s one of the enduring priorities of CSIRO to ensure good governance through a whole series of mechanisms, and being able to do this and contribute to this in the Pacific is something that meets CSIRO’s strategic objectives as well,” he said.
Dr Karen Evans, a CSIRO Senior Research Scientist, conducts research that supports the sustainability of national and international fisheries and leads marine biodiversity assessments within Australia, regionally across the South Pacific, and globally under the United Nations.
Dr Karen Evans, CSIRO Senior Research Scientist (Photo credit: CSIRO)
Dr Evans said SPREP staff they spoke with throughout the week were engaged and excited to create the indicators.
“I’ve actually appreciated the openness that people have come into this process with,” she said. “People have been open to being guided in developing indicators and responded well to the challenges in going through this process.”
The EMG Programme organized the workshop jointly through its Inform project and African Caribbean Pacific Multilateral Environment Agreement 2 (ACP MEA 2) Project. The Global Environment Facility funds the Inform project, which is creating national data portals, as well as a regional portal, in 14 Pacific Island countries to help streamline data sharing and access. The project is also creating online indicator reporting tools. The European Union funds the ACP MEA 2 Project, which supports the development of State of Environment Reports and National Environmental Management Strategies.
Mr Paul Anderson, the Inform Project Manager, said the collaboration with CSIRO will being a process that helps better monitor environmental conditions in the Pacific Island region.
“By working with CSIRO and member countries on core environmental indicators, SPREP will support systematic environmental tracking to improve data-based decision making in the environment sector,” he said.
To learn more about the Inform project, please visit http://www.sprep.org/inform/home
To learn more about the ACP MEA project, please visit http://www.sprep.org/Projects/acp-meas-project
To learn more about CSIRO’s work, please visit https://www.csiro.au