25 February 2013 - SPREP and the New Zealand Government have today announced a new partnership to support Pacific Island countries in their efforts to manage their environment and ensure sustainable development.
SPREP Director General David Sheppard and High Commissioner Jackie Frizelle today signed an NZD 4.5 million dollar agreement for financial support from 2013 to 2015. This will support practical programmes in Pacific Countries which will improve the management of solid waste, protect biodiversity while encouraging economic development through eco-tourism and assist Pacific countries in responding to climate change.
New Zealand is a founding member and development partner of PREP, a relationship spanning 20 years of support and partnership.
SPREP is a Pacific regional inter-governmental organisation charged with the protection and sustainable management of the Pacific island region's environment.
SPREP works at the forefront of regional efforts to address environmental concerns by providing national-level technical advice, programme support, capacity building and coordinated regional responses to global issues and international agreements.
David Sheppard notes:
"SPREP welcomes this commitment of the Government of New Zealand to increase our work together. Better management of the environment is essential for the livelihoods of Pacific peoples and for sustainable development. We applaud the commitment of New Zealand to assist the Pacific in these key areas"
"New Zealand's partnership with SPREP forms part of our wider commitment to supporting Pacific island Countries across a range of environmental issues. As well as the funding package, New Zealand agencies are also partnering with SPREP on a number of environmental initiatives throughout the Pacific. We look forward to continuing our close relationship with SPREP over the next three years." said Jackie Frizelle
The funding support from New Zealand will help implement the SPREP Strategic Plan 2011 – 2015 in an efficient manner, responding to the priority needs of SPREP member countries both nationally and at a regional level.
Some of the key work SPREP undertakes in partnership with New Zealand agencies include programmes on Pacific marine turtle conservation and the production of the Island Climate Update, amongst other activities in the Pacific.
The signing of the agreement took place at the SPREP Headquarters in Apia, Samoa.