CONSTRUCTION OF SPREP HEADQUARTERS TO BEGIN NEXT MONTH IN VAILIMA

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APIA, Samoa (May 27, 1999 - PACNEWS)---Construction of the US$ 1.77 million headquarters of the South Pacific Regional Environment Program (SPREP), is scheduled to begin at the end of next month.

The Samoan Government donated 10 acres of land in the exclusive suburb of Vailima for the headquarters.

The Australian High Commissioner to Samoa Paul O'Callaghan, who is chairman of the SPREP Headquarters Task Force, described it as an "excellent site."

Since relocating to Samoa in 1992, the SPREP headquarters have been housed in Samoa's industrial zone.

Australia, New Zealand, the United States, China, France and Papua New Guinea all made contributions to move the SPREP site to a more desirable neighborhood.

SPREP advises member countries on such environmental issues as natural resource conservation, climate change, waste management and environmental education and training.

"Support for the building sends a clear signal that countries have the long term interest of SPREP in mind and they place considerable importance on the work we do to assist Pacific Island countries protect their environment and to develop sustainably," said SPREP's Officer-in Charge, Gerald Miles.

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