Healthy reefs. Photo: D. McFadzien
Island and Ocean Ecosystems

11 June 2024, Apia – The Pacific’s regional intergovernmental organisation established to protect, conserve, and promote a resilient Pacific environment, the Secretariat of the Pacific Environment Programme (SPREP), has been chosen as the Oceania Regional Centre for Technical and Scientific Cooperation for the implementation of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF). 

The decision was made at the fourth meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI 4) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) where the Parties selected 18 regional organisations spanning the globe in a multilateral push to bolster the implementation of the GBF, also known as the World’s Biodiversity Plan, through science, technology and innovation.

SPREP is the only organisation to be selected for the Oceania region, something SPREP’s Director General, Mr. Sefanaia Nawadra welcomed and applauded. This is recognition that SPREP as the regional environment agency mandated by its Member countries has been  supporting the region’s biodiversity needs for the past thirty years, Mr Nawadra  hoped that this additional recognition will support leveraging resources required to support Member countries in their biodiversity conservation needs, and the implementation, monitoring, and reporting of their progress towards the GBF targets. 

The Secretariat submitted an Expression of Interest outlining its extensive experience in managing complex projects and programmes for the past 31 years, with an annual budget of more than USD 30 million. SPREP’s current repertoire includes 91 projects ranging from hundreds of thousands up to USD 20 million. 

“Our record speaks for itself,” Mr. Nawadra added. “Our commitment to our Members and the Pacific environment, our demonstrated ability to provide technical advice and support to Parties as well as our experience and expertise in implementing the CBD and its protocols were key to our recognition as the regional support centre for Oceania. We already had an MOU with the CBD Secretariat that included our fulfilling this role. Our application and selection was to adhere to the requirements laid down by the COP and its subsidiary bodies”

SPREP serves 21 Pacific island Member states. Its headquarters are based in Apia, Samoa, with offices in Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and a sub-regional office for the Northern Pacific based in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. 

A total of 18 organisations from Africa, Americas, Asia, and Europe, including SPREP from Oceania, have been recognised as Cooperation Support Centres, which will execute a set of core functions, including promoting and facilitating technical and scientific cooperation and technology transfer among Parties, including through joint research programmes and joint technology development ventures.

Centres will also act as a one-stop shop for access to technical and scientific knowledge and expertise, as well as provide information on opportunities for technical and scientific cooperation, technology transfers, and innovations.  

At the core of SPREPs support to Pacific island countries is the Pacific Islands Roundtable for Nature Conservation (PIRT), a coalition of sixteen organisations that work to support Pacific biodiversity conservation which has existed since 1997.  SPREP is the permanent Secretariat of PIRT, and this  partnership is a key mechanism for SPREPs role to support Pacific island countries to implement the Global Biodiversity Framework. It is also a crucial element of the regional architecture SPREP has put in place as its designated contribution to lead implementation of the environment dimension of the 2050 Blue Pacific Strategy

For more information, please contact Ms. Amanda Wheatley, Biodiversity Adviser, at [email protected]