The Pacific Islands Environment Leadership Awards (PIELA) are the only Pacific region focused environment awards, and was established by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme in 2013.
The awards recognise, promote and celebrate outstanding contributions of individuals, communities, non-governmental organisations, private enterprises and countries and territories towards achieving an environmentally sustainable and resilient Pacific.
PIELAs were given for outstanding achievement in the following thematic areas related to environmental sustainability in our 21 Pacific island member countries:
- Biodiversity and Ecosystem protection - achievements in national levels protecting terrestrial and marine species and ecosystems, establishing and managing protected areas, linkages to sustainable livelihoods
- Environmental governance - achievements relating to the establishment and implementation of national laws and policies, regional frameworks, and community-based management initiatives for all environmental issues
- Climate change adaptation and resilience - innovative solutions for ecosystem-based adaptation at community, sub-national and national levels
- Waste management and pollution control - innovative solutions and initiatives to reduce and/or improve waste management and pollution control at the sub-national and national levels
The categories awarded in the 2nd Pacific Islands Environment Leadership Awards are:
- National leadership in environmental sustainability and conservation (INDIVIDUAL)
- Community leadership in environmental sustainability and conservation
- Youth leadership in environmental sustainability and conservation
- Lifetime Achievement
- Champion of the Pacific
The celebration of the Pacific Leadership Awards was originally planned for the 10th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas in New Caledonia. However, this Conference was postponed and then held virtually. We had hoped we could bring together the recipients of the Awards to celebrate at a live event. The global pandemic continued, and the PIELA were announced as part of the high-level segment of the virtual 30th SPREP Meeting on 9th September 2021.