Island and Ocean Ecosystems
A long standing commitment between the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme and the University of Papua New Guinea since 1976 was reaffirmed with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in Samoa.

SPREP and UPNG will cooperate in programmes and activities in the fields of pollution control and environmentally sound management of all types of wastes; climate change, variability and extreme events and its related issues; biodiversity management including protection and conservation; and environmental management and governance.

"It's carrying on a tradition and it comes at an exciting time as we enter a new era with the Pacific Climate Change Centre at SPREP, a centre that will belong to all of us in the region," said Mr Roger Cornforth, the Deputy Director General of SPREP.

Professor Peter Petsul, Executive Dean of the School of Natual and Physical Sciences of UPNG with Roger Cornforth, Deputy Director General of SPREP. 
Photo: SPREP

"Building capacity of Pacific islanders is just one of the many focusses of the PCCC which will be the place for people to come together, collaborate, share experiences and expertise and be a regional hub for research and learning. This signing broadens the opportunities for us to help our member countries, together."

Professor Peter Petsul, the Executive Dean of the School of Natural and Physical Sciences of UPNG says the long relationship with SPREP is one that is highly valued by them.

"This MOU marks a renewed commitment between the two organisations. It will enhance the long time relationship since the establishment of SPREP. In the 1980's SPREP contributed to UPNG infrastructures in the Faculty of Science in terms of its core business of academic and research. UPNG offers many exciting and new programs in the School of Natural and Physical Sciences, which can be utilised by SPREP," said Professor Petsul who signed on behalf of the University of Papua New Guinea Vice Chancellor Professor Albert Mellam.

P1150092Professor Peter Pestul and Mr Roger Cornforth signing the MOU between UPNG and SPREP.
Photo: SPREP

"It can offer scientific advice and train people of the Pacific in areas of climate change, ocean and sustainable development measures to name a few. On this juncture, UPNG take this opportunity to also thank SPREP for its contribution in the development of human resource. Some of whom are now working both in Papua New Guinea and the Pacific region."

A wide range of opportunities has been identified under this strengthened partnership, including opportunities for students from SPREP member countries to train at UPNG as well as collaboration in conferences, workshops and training, and joint development and application for bilateral, regional and multilateral projects.

The signing took place at the SPREP Campus in Apia, Samoa on 7 September, 2016.