Friday 26 June, 2020 – We are excited to announce the 10th Pacific Island Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas will now be held virtually 23 – 27 November, 2020!
The conference, which was originally scheduled to take place 19 – 24 April 2020 in Noumea, New Caledonia, was postponed in early March as a result of the development of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The health and safety of all participants were the most important factors that guided us in our decision-making,” said Ms Amanda Wheatley, Biodiversity Adviser at SPREP.
“Given that much commitment, funds and effort has been invested into the postponed event by all the conference organisers and regional partners, and the important role this event plays in setting a Pacific initiated agenda for mounting conservation priorities into the future, we decided the event should happen but in a manner that managed the ongoing risk posed by COVID-19 to the host country, and fellow Pacific islanders.”
During a Pacific Islands Roundtable for Nature Conservation (PIRT)meeting held yesterday to update members and partners, Director General of SPREP, Mr Kosi Latu, said that hosting the conference virtually was in the best interests of everyone involved. Event organisers and partners will work together and mobilise resources to ensure that the conference is successful.
“I have faith in our partners and our team that the virtual 10th Pacific Islands Nature Conservation Conference will be a big success, bringing together more than 800 people virtually with a potential to provide an opportunity for many to participate who might not have been able to previously due to travel costs,” said Mr Latu.
“Our main priority after ensuring the health and safety of our people, is to make sure the conference delivers in providing a meaningful platform for some of the greatest minds in our region to come together and discuss ways of pushing forward greater collective conservation efforts, particularly with the current COVID-19 crisis we are experiencing.”
Information about the virtual conference will be made available including opportunities for existing speakers and conveners, as well as virtual exhibitions and side events. Registered participants and sponsors can expect to be contacted regarding what this change will mean for them.
The 10th Pacific Island Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas is organised every five to six years by SPREP and PIRT. An estimated 600 to 800 biodiversity and nature conservation stakeholders are expected to participate in the virtual meeting to be held in November.