SPREP CLIMATE CHANGE/SEA LEVEL RISE MEETING OPENS IN NOUMEA

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NOUMEA, New Caledonia (August 18, 1997 - PACNEWS)---The Third South Pacific Regional Environment Program (SPREP) Climate Change and Sea Level Rise Meeting has opened in the New Caledonian capital of Noumea.

The Director of SPREP, Tamari'i Tutangata, says the meeting will raise awareness and understanding about climate change issues and identify specific needs for Pacific Islands governments to address. In the process, the latest scientific developments and reports from a variety of international groups will be reviewed.

Tutangata says the meeting also will strengthen and enhance cooperation between regional organizations and SPREP member countries.

Over 110 scientists, government officials, and other regional and international experts are taking part in this week's sessions, co-hosted by SPREP and the French Scientific Institute for Development Through Cooperation (ORSTOM).

The Noumea SPREP meeting has been funded primarily by the government of France, with additional support from the governments of Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and the Untied States.

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