Environmental Monitoring and Governance
General News

A momentous gathering took place in Fiji this week marking the culmination of the Inform Project—a remarkable initiative that has united fourteen countries in the Pacific. The event was filled with enthusiasm as participants celebrated the successful journey embarked upon together and reflected on the significant achievements accomplished.

The Inform Project emerged as a unified response to the critical need for data-driven decision-making in the Pacific region. Through strategic partnerships between Pacific Island Countries, the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), and the UN Environment Programme, the initiative has successfully enhanced the availability of vital environmental data.

“The dedication and commitment shown by our member countries involved in the Inform Project have been instrumental in its success in driving positive change and paving the way for a more sustainable future in our region through data-driven decision making,” said Mr Sefanaia Nawadra, SPREP Director General.

Over the years, the Inform Project has tackled key challenges, addressing the imperative to increase data availability and provide valuable evidence of environmental resources, trends, and the drivers of environmental change. Though there is still more work to be done, the project has improved information management, interpretation, and the establishment of standard procedures for handling environmental data. Central to this effort is the establishment of robust Environment Data Portals, through close collaboration with the Pacific Community’s Pacific Data Hub, has facilitated easy access to timely information, empowering decision-makers, planners, and stakeholders to harness the wealth of available information and data to inform actions and to chart a sustainable course for a shared future in the region.

In his keynote address delivered remotely from the UNEP Office in Nairobi, Mr Jochem Zotelief, Head of Climate Services and Capacity Building Unit, UN Environment Programme expressed his gratitude for the unwavering commitment by member countries and SPREP in the implementation of the Inform Project, “The Inform project has been a success in streamlining the use of environmental data and information. Building upon this success, we expanded it through initiatives such as the UNEP five countries programme on climate information and the UN-joint programme for Samoa”.


By leveraging expertise and resources from multiple stakeholders, the project was poised to deliver tangible benefits in terms of enhanced data coordination, management, and governance in the region. The event was also attended by representatives of the Pacific Community whereby Mr. Sioeli Tonga, Program Manager of the Pacific Data Hub, highlighted the crucial linkages between the Pacific Data Hub and the Environment Data Portals, stressing the importance of seamless integration for comprehensive and efficient data management. Through this integration, it aims to foster a robust and sustainable data infrastructure capable of supporting regional initiatives.

The Inform project has also provided comprehensive assessments of the region's environmental state through the development of State of the Environment (SOE) reports, National Environment Management Strategies (NEMS), and other key priorities across Pacific Island member countries. These assessments highlight critical environmental indicators, trends, and areas of concern, equipping policymakers with evidence-based insights to make informed decisions and develop targeted strategies to address environmental challenges. Recognising the importance of continuous learning and capacity development after this project phase, the Inform project has also invested in free online learning courses on the SPREP Moodle platform. The courses aim to empower individuals and organisations to enhance their knowledge and skills in data management, visualisation, sharing and utilisation, further promoting data-driven decision-making throughout the Pacific region.

The success of the Inform project and its ability to unlock the potential of data would not have been possible without the financial assistance from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to support countries including Cook IslandsFederated States of MicronesiaFijiKiribati, the Republic of Marshall IslandsPapua New GuineaNauruNiuePalauSamoaSolomon IslandsTongaTuvalu, and Vanuatu. The Inform project is based with SPREP’s Environmental Monitoring and Governance Programme.

The Inform Regional meeting was held on 20, 21 June 2023.  It was made possible through support by the UNEP-led Enhancing Climate Information and Knowledge Services for Resilience in five island countries of the Pacific Ocean  Programme with funding from GCF, the European Union initiated capacity building project phase 3 titled, "Capacity Building related to Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Countries implemented by UN Environment executed by SPREP, as well as “Building National and Regional Capacity to Implement Multilateral Environmental Agreements by Strengthening Planning and the State of Environmental Assessment and Reporting in the Pacific", more commonly known as the Inform project funded by the Global Environment Facility, implemented by UN Environment and executed by SPREP.