Capacity Development

Capacity development (also known as capacity building) is a critical enabler for the implementation of Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) and achievement of conservation benefits, and is one of the five programme implementation pillars for achieving SPREPs strategic goals. However, limitations in capacity have been identified as one of the main issues in the Pacific region, further exacerbated by high staff turnover.


Capacity: the ability to achieve results, or the ability to perform effectively (Saldanha C. 2010. Results Oriented Capacity Development. A Practitioner's Guide for Leaders of Organizations and Development Program Managers. Austral Foundation, August 2010.)

Capacity development: the process of developing competencies and capabilities in individuals, groups, organisations, sectors or countries which will lead to sustained and self-generating performance improvement (UNDP: Frequently Asked Questions: UNDP Approach to Capacity Development, June 2009)

What we do

Capacity development is a process of change which can be applied at three levels: individual, organisation and enabling frameworks. At the individual level it is about the acquisition of skills and knowledge, while at the organisation and higher levels about creating good, appropriate systems and processes for effective governance. EMG works to promote capacity beyond individual skills-acquisition or policy level capacity change, focusing on the impact in terms of changes in stakeholder behaviour and attitudes.

The EMG Division supports capacity development among SPREP Members at all three levels, assisting the integration of environmental issues across the main thematic areas of biodiversity, climate change and waste into national environmental policy frameworks and sustainable development plans.