24 August 2022, Port Vila - The draft State of Environment (SoE) report for Vanuatu is being finalised through a validation consultation workshop.
Held at the Grand Hotel, Port Vila on Tuesday 16 August 2022, the consultation involves key national environment stakeholders under the leadership of Vanuatu’s Department of Environment, Protection, and Conservation (DEPC) with support from the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) through its Environmental Monitoring and Governance Programme (EMG). The workshop was supported through the GEF-Inform regional project.
The SoE report examines major drivers of change to the environment that emerge from global, regional, and national factors. It evaluates the main environmental pressures created by these drivers and examines their environmental impact.
The report also gives recommendations to ensure economic development is environmentally sustainable.
It will serve as a reference to guide national development efforts and to improve livelihoods, while the information in the SoE will help improve decision-making on the environment and in the allocation of resources to environmental protection.
The report presents an overview of Vanuatu’s environment across several thematic areas being: Atmosphere and Climate, Water, Land, Marine, and Coastal, Biodiversity, Culture and Heritage, Built Environment, and Environment Governance. Each thematic area includes a range of environment indicators to describe it.
Workshop participants were grouped into the SoE thematic areas corresponding to their expertise where they reviewed the draft environmental indicators. This included verifying the state and trend of each indicator, identifying additional datasets required and providing recommendations to improve the management of the environment.
At the closing of the workshop, DEPC Principal Officer, Mr Trinison Tari acknowledged the important contribution from the stakeholders in providing the data, graphs and maps, and validating interpretations of the state of Vanuatu’s environment.
“The State of the Environment (SoE) assesses the health of Vanuatu’s environment and its natural resources. It is an effective tool for effective planning and decision making at all levels in regard to the protection of the environment,” said Trinison Tari, Principal Officer - PO Division of the Vanuatu Department of Environment.
“It identifies the key drivers and pressures that affect our environment, the current state, and trend including actions needed to improve the state of our environment. Vanuatu has not produced its SoE report before, so the document is the first one that DEPC is developing.”
Dr. Posa Skelton, the national SoE consultant, will work towards incorporating input, feedback, and comments from the thematic experts into a revised SoE draft for final revision before submission for official Government endorsement.
“We thank SPREP for being in Vanuatu this week to help DEPC in conducting the validation workshop. We look forward to SPREP’s continual technical and financial assistance to be provided in completing this document before the end of 2022,” added Mr. Tari.
The SPREP mission team for the validation workshop, was led by the Director of EMG, Mr Jope Davetanivalu, Inform Project Manager, Mr Paul Anderson, and Environment GIS Specialist, Mrs Vani Koroisamanunu.
The regional GEF Inform project is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), implemented by UN Environment, and executed by SPREP through the Environmental Monitoring and Governance Programme. The Inform project is helping set up national data portals in 14 Pacific Island countries to house all environment related information for improved decision-making and reporting. Information available on the portal will contribute to the SoE process.
For more information on the State of Environment report, please contact Vani Koroisamanunu: [email protected]
For more information on the Inform project, please contact Project Manager, Mr. Paul Anderson: [email protected]
For more information on the Vanuatu national environment portal, please visit their website: https://vanuatu-data.sprep.org/