SPREP is hosting a series of webinars focused on "Transitioning to a post-pandemic Pacific". Highlighting Pacific island and partner voices, stories, and experiences, this webinar series aims to support Pacific post-COVID-19 recovery planning conversations with in-region perspectives on the importance of 'blue and green' components in our planning, from climate change responses to pollution control and sustainability of our precious biodiversity.

Webinar 5: One Health: Healthy environment = healthy humans. 

Implications of ‘upsetting the balance’ and what the Pacific Islands can learn from COVID-19 and other similar disease outbreaks

Friday, 10 July 2020: 3 pm (Samoa time)

To Register: https://bit.ly/2BFmMdq

We depend on biodiversity and healthy ecosystems for our health and survival. Biodiversity, and the complexity of our landscapes and seascapes, is integral to social and ecological resilience, including the resilience of ecosystem functions and the services that they sustain. As genetic and species diversity is lost and ecosystems are degraded, the complexity of the overall system can be compromised making it more vulnerable, and potentially creating new opportunities for disease emergence and poor health outcomes both in humans and species. This webinar will explore the risks humans are posing to our Pacific ecosystems and species and what that could mean for our own health and wellbeing.

The programme begins with the scientific evidence for the emergence of pandemic-causing diseases as a result of our mismanagement of the natural world. It will explain the link between biodiversity loss and degradation as contributing factors. We then move to an examination of the ongoing drivers to biodiversity loss in the Pacific as well as a discussion on what strategies we might adopt in the Pacific to combat these. Finally we examine a new concept known as ‘One Health’, a strategy for pooling our knowledge and data collection across multiple sectors managing health and the environment to ensure a joined up approach to better environmental management leading to better health outcomes and reduced risk of disease.



Mr. Kosi Latu, Director General, SPREP

Welcome and Opening Remarks

Ms. Juney Ward, Ecosystem & Biodiversity Officer, SPREP (Moderator)

Introduction of the Speakers

Dr. Stacy Jupiter, Director, Melanesia Program Wildlife Conservation Society

How does biodiversity loss and environmental degradation increase the emergence of infectious diseases?


Dr. James Russell, Conservation Biologist, School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland


What are the critical ongoing drivers of environmental degradation and threats to biodiversity loss in the Pacific and where might this vulnerability lead to emergence of infectious diseases? What strategies should Pacific nation adopt to protect and restore biodiversity?


Dr. Nasir Hasan, Climate Change and Environmental Health Team Coordinator at WHO-South Pacific Office

What are the implications of climate change on zoonotic and vector borne diseases including on emerging zoonoses and what is the concept of One Health? to protect and restore biodiversity?


Dr. Collin Tukuitonga, Associate Dean, Pacific Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland


What are the implications of COVID-19 or a similar pandemic for Pacific Islanders health and wellbeing if one should become widespread? Where is the greatest impact likely to be and are our existing responses adequate?


Dr. Angela Merianos, Pacific Health Security, Communicable Diseases and Climate Change and WHO-South Pacific office

The concept of “One Health” and how Pacific governments could develop a ‘one health’ approach to human health, animal health and our shared environment. Cross-sectoral surveillance and monitoring and data sharing across fields of ecology, public health, vet medicine, epidemiology, sociology.


Ms. Juney Ward, Ecosystem & Biodiversity Officer (Moderator)

Mr. Kosi Latu, Director General, SPREP

Q & A

Closing remarks








Additional information on the Speakers

Dr. Stacy Jupiter

is the Melanesia Regional Director for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), based out of Suva, Fiji, where she previously directed WCS’s Fiji Country Program. Originally from the U.S. near Boston, she completed her undergraduate studies at Harvard University and doctoral research at the University of California, Santa Cruz and at the University of Queensland while on a Fulbright scholarship.


Dr. Jupiter first became interested in community-based management and conservation while serving as a Peace Corps rural fisheries volunteer in the tropical rainforests of Gabon, Central Africa. Broadly, the scope of Stacy’s work could be captured under the umbrella of integrated catchment-to-reef management, though this has taken various forms, including: evaluating effectiveness of locally-managed marine areas and integrated island management projects; undertaking spatial planning to achieve biodiversity and livelihoods outcomes; assessing downstream impacts of catchment modification on biodiversity and human health; and understanding drivers of resilience in Pacific coastal communities.


Dr. Jupiter was named a 2019 MacArthur Fellow. She is also a Board member for EcoHealth International, representing the Oceania region.


Dr. James Russell

is a conservation biologist based at the University of Auckland’s School of Biological Sciences and the Department of Statistics. He is also a regular media commentator on conservation issues in New Zealand and globally, particularly for Predator Free New Zealand.


His research focuses broadly on biodiversity, biosecurity and conservation with an emphasis on island ecosystems.


Dr. Nasir Hassan

is Team Coordinator Pacific Climate Change and Environment and Environmental Health Specialist at the WHO-Division of Pacific Technical Support (DPS), based in Suva Fiji. Prior to this, he held Team Coordinator, Health and Environment, WHO-Western Pacific Regional Office in Manila Philippines and Team Coordinator, Environmental Health and NCD at the WHO- Cambodia Office and was also assisting Environmental Health programme for Lao PDR.


In DPS, Dr Hassan is responsible for the WHO-Health, Environment and Climate Change Programme in the Pacific. He graduated with MPhil and PhD degrees from the University of Lancaster England. His home country is Malaysia.


Dr. Colin Tukuitonga

was previously the Director-General for the Pacific Community (SPC) since January 2014 before taking up the senior role at the Auckland University's Health and Medical Sciences faculty as the Associate Dean Pacific.


Dr. Tukuitonga, who is Niuean, held a number of roles which included: Chief Executive Officer of the New Zealand Government’s Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs; Associate Professor of Public Health and Head of Pacific and International Health at the University of Auckland; Director of Public Health, New Zealand Ministry of Health; and Head of Surveillance and Prevention of Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases at the World Health Organization, Switzerland.


Dr. Tukuitonga has also served in various leadership and management roles, including at the Fiji School of Medicine, the Auckland District Health Board, Northern Regional Health Authority (Auckland), University of Auckland and the Health Research Council of New Zealand. He is a former Board member of the Pacific Cooperation Foundation.


Dr. Angela Merianos

is a public health physician with WHO-South Pacific Division of Pacific Technical Support.  She is the Team Coordinator for Pacific Health Security, Communicable Diseases and Climate Change with a personal focus on preparedness and response to public health emergencies and implementation of the International Health Regulations. 


Dr. Merianos first started with WHO in Geneva in 2003, working with the Alert and Response Operations team, eventually joining the Pacific team in 2014.



Knowledge Resources and Useful Links

  • Convention on Biodiversity website questions and answers on biodiversity and infectious diseases -> access HERE
  • Links between ecological integrity, emerging infectious diseases originating from wildlife, and other aspects of human health – an overview -> access HERE
  • Island Biodiversity in the Anthropocene -> access HERE    
  • Watershed Interventions for Systems Health (WISH) Fiji: access HERE
  • Better Environmental Management Required for One Health / by Stacey Jupiter, April 2020 -> access HERE
  • Strategic Environmental Assessment for invasive species management on inhabited islands / Russell J.C. & Taylor, C.N. -> access HERE
  • Invasive alien species on islands: impacts, distribution, interactions and management / Russell J.C...[et al.]  -> access HERE
  • Pacific Islands Action Plan on Climate Change and Health 2018-> Access HERE



Webinar Archives

Webinar 4: Environmental Consideration in Sustainable Tourism in the Pacific Island Region

Friday, 3 July 2020: 3 pm (Samoa time)

To Register: https://sprep.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_u0OBvPdYR7aS7hvGoDjKMw

Despite this situation, the Pacific countries’ efforts on the sustainable development of the tourism sector from the environment point of view should not be undermined. SPREP in partnership with the South Pacific Tourism Organization (SPTO) developed the Environmental Impact Assessment Guidelines for Coastal Tourism Development in Pacific Island Countries and Territories (Coastal Tourism EIA Guidelines) to guide tourism developers towards better environmental planning.

During these challenging times, it is important for the Pacific partners and members to remind each other of the importance of applying their available tools to safeguard the people and environment from the risks and impacts that may arise from poorly executed tourism development.

The Coastal Tourism EIA guidelines are to increase awareness and understanding of the EIA process across the Pacific region’s tourism sector; promote best practice EIA for coastal tourism development; encourage government agencies and tourism developers to comply with national EIA regulatory frameworks and support sustainable and resilient coastal tourism development that protects the environmental, social and cultural assets that provide a foundation for tourism.



Mr. Kosi Latu, Director General, SPREP

Welcome and Opening Remarks

Mr. Jope Davetanivalu, Environmental Planning Adviser, SPREP (Moderator)

Introduction of the Speakers

Dr. Gregory Barbara, Environmental Assessment and Planning Officer, SPREP

The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Guidelines for Coastal Tourism

Ms. Christina Leala-Gale, Sustainable Tourism Development Manager, South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO)


Environmental Sustainability a Key Building Block for Sustainable Tourism in the Region

Mr. Colin Philp, Manager – Leleuvia Island Resort and Co-Chair of the Duavata Sustainable Tourism Collective

The Usefulness of Environment Planning on Tourism Development

Mr. Fa’amatuainu Lenata’i Suifua, Chief Executive Officer, Samoa Tourism Authority (STA)

Role of the National Tourism Office in Promoting Environmental Planning on Tourism Development

Mr. Jope Davetanivalu (Moderator)

Q & A & Conclusion






1. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Guidelines for Coastal Tourism Development in Pacific Island Countries and Territories



Double Jeopardy: COVID-19 brings heat to Climate Change urgency

To register: https://sprep.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Qzr8Z5aFSS-fFNVviVE5GQ

Friday, 26 June 2020: 3-4.30 pm (Samoa time)

Even in the face of COVID-19, climate change remains the single greatest threat to Pacific livelihoods. While the temporary slowing of emissions of greenhouse gases is a silver lining at least for local air quality from the COVID-19 pandemic, the planet is still breaking climate change records. Atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, the underlying factor for climate change, will only be marginally reduced by the pandemic.

With the threats and pandemic-induced shut down all around the globe, how have the Pacific Island States and territories managed and how are they addressing threats to Climate Action and maintaining momentum before COP26? Can COVID-19 provide a platform for transformative change and opportunities for green recovery options? Be part of the Pacific conversation within the endeavor to build resilience across this island region and join the webinar to learn more.




Sala Dr. George Carter, Research Fellow in Geopolitics and Regionalism at the Department of Pacific Affairs and Co-Director for the Australian National University Pacific Institute (Moderator)


Welcome & Introductions of Speakers

Mr. Kosi Latu, Director General, SPREP

Welcoming Address (Pre-recorded message)

Mr. Patrick Pringle, Climate Analytic Consultant, SPREP

Ms. Ella Strachan, Junior Research Associate, Climate Analytics, SPREP

COVID-19: Risks and Threats to Climate Action and how these can be managed by Pacific Small Islands Developing States

Pre-recorded presentation by Mr. Patrick Pringle; Ms. Ella Strachan will be on hand to answer any questions

Ms. Anne Rasmussen, Assistant CEO – Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE), Samoa 

How COVID-19 measures being put in place trigger finance towards green growth and climate-smart development

Mr. Espen Ronneberg, Climate Change Adviser, SPREP

Maintaining momentum before UNFCCC COP26 and how we need to prepare – Pacific islands and regional perspectives

Ms. Annmary Raduva, Youth Climate Activist, Fiji


Re-evaluating youth advocacy and climate activism in the face of a pandemic and building momentum towards COP 26 and beyond COVID 19

H.E. Ambassador Ken O’Flaherty, Climate Change Ambassador for Asia, and the Pacific

Preparation for the UK Presidency of UNFCCC COP26 Short video

Sala Dr. George Carter (Moderator)

Q & A




Additional Knowledge Resources - COVID-19 & CLIMATE CHANGE

Climate Analytics blogs

  1. COVID-19 another shock for vulnerable countries facing multiple crises (by Manjeet Dhakal)
  2. Facing COVID-19 and climate, Pacific island capacity stretched(by Paddy Pringle)
  3. Coronavirus underscores small islands' climate vulnerability (by Adelle Thomas)
  4. Responding to a global crisis -the coronavirus pandemic and the climate emergency (by Carl-Friedrich Schleussner, Matthew Gidden, Kim Coetze)
  5. COVID-19 and Climate Change: We Must Rise to Both Crises (Dame Meg Taylor, Secretary-General, Pacific Islands Forum)



 Tackling the Challenge of a Cleaner Pacific amongst a Pandemic and Disaster Situation

Register today! https://sprep.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Yfx6zfoERAKtAC9pH1p2fg

Friday, 19 June 2020: 3-4.30 pm (Samoa time) – Agenda

Recent events in the Pacific Region such as the epidemic measles outbreak in Samoa, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the disastrous Tropical Cyclone Harold which hit four Pacific islands, prompted our region to look beyond business as usual.

While the health of the Pacific people is paramount during these crises, maintaining a cleaner Pacific people in the context of managing waste and controlling pollution is also important to reduce risks of infection from the virus or any other diseases. Improper management of medical wastes and uncontrolled garbage will expose the Pacific community to infectious diseases and impede disaster recovery efforts.




Mr. Anthony Talouli, Acting Director, Waste Management and Pollution Control (WMPC) Programme, SPREP (Moderator)


Introduction of the Webinar (2 minutes)

Mr. Kosi Latu, Director General, SPREP


Perceived impacts of COVID-19 crisis on waste generation and services (5 minutes)

Ms. Lisa Guppy, Regional Coordinator for Resilience to Disasters and Conflicts & Humanitarian Affairs, UN Environment Programme Regional Office Asia Pacific


Pandemic and disaster waste: current trends across the Asia Pacific region

Mr. Joshua Sam, Hazardous Waste Management Adviser, SPREP


Effective management of medical wastes during a pandemic or disaster

Panel discussion (20 minutes)


Mr. Setoa Apo, Principal Waste Officer, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE), Samoa


Municipal waste management in a crisis setting: the case of a measles epidemic and past cyclones in Samoa

Mr. Afele Faiilagi, ACEO, (MNRE), Samoa



Ms. Marina Keil  President and Vice President, Samoa Recycling and Waste Management Association (SRWMA), Samoa



Ms. Lucie Isaia, Principal Healthcare Waste Officer, Ministry of Health (MoH), Samoa



Mr. Shalend Singh (TBC), Senior Health Inspector, Lautoka City Council, Fiji


Coping with a double crisis from a waste management perspective: the case of COVID-19 and TC Harold cases in Fiji

Panel discussion (20 minutes)

Ms. Donna Kalfatak (or Ionie Bolenga), Director, Department of Environmental Protection and Conservation, Ministry of Climate Change Adaptation, Meteorology, Geo-Hazards, Environment, Energy and Disaster Management, Vanuatu


Challenges in responding and recovering from a crisis on a waste management perspective: the case of the recent TC Harold disaster management in Vanuatu

Ms. Mafile’o Ongosia Masi, Senior Environmentalist, Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change & Communication (MEIDECC), Tonga

Challenges in responding and recovering from a crisis on a waste management perspective: the case of the recent TC Harold disaster management in Tonga

Mr. Fa’afetai Sagapolutele, Assistant Chief Adviser, J-PRISM II


Open Forum (20 minutes)


Mr. Anthony Talouli (moderator), Acting Director, WMPC Programme, SPREP



Mr. Kosi Latu, Director General, SPREP


Take home message and conclusion: Preparedness in a crisis (5 minutes)


SPREP Webinar 2




Our Ocean Journey for a Bluer Pacific as we navigate through COVID-19

Friday, 12 June 2020: 3-4.30 pm (Samoa time) - Agenda

As we emerge from the pandemic it is absolutely crucial, that sustainability is central to rebuilding our economies as we strive to prosper once again. This webinar will examine recent ocean conservation efforts in the Pacific Region as we discuss how to navigate back onto course set by the Blue Pacific

 Session 1:  Kosi Latu, Director General, SPREP (Moderator)



Dame Meg Taylor, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum and Pacific Ocean Commissioner

Sustainable approaches to ocean management for a Blue Pacific (video message)

Hon. F. Umiich Sengebau, Minister of Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism, Palau and Chairperson of the Our Ocean Conference 2020

Efforts by Palau to address the impacts of COVID-19

The Rt Hon Lord Zac Goldsmith, United Kingdom's Minister for the Pacific and Environment

Working in partnership with the Pacific islands region to address marine plastics (video message)

H.E. Ms. Melanie Hopkins, British High Commissioner to Fiji

Q and A

Session 2- Moderator: Peter Davies, Coastal and Marine Ecosystems Adviser, SPREP 

Ms. Nua Vaai, Manino Waters and Prime Pacific Enterprise in Samoa

Working in partnership for a plastic-free Pacific Ocean

Dr. Andrew Smith, Deputy Director, Division of Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Marine Ecosystems, SPC

Impacts of COVID-19 on Pacific island coastal fisheries

Dr. Josie Tamate, Director of Niue Ministry of Natural Resources

Niue Moana Mahu - the second largest Marine Protected Area in the Pacific



Additional Knowledge Resources - OCEANS

Pacific Voyage UN Pacific Ocean Conference 2017

Ocean Toolkit for Pacific Media: Our Pacific Ocean, Our Stories

Pacific Ocean Portal