NEW CANADIAN SOUTH PACIFIC MARINE PROJECTS

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SOUTH PACIFIC FORUM SECRETARIAT

Suva, Fiji Islands

Canada-South Pacific Ocean Development Program (C-SPOD)

Press Release December 2, 1999

GIVEN GO AHEAD

Canadian officials have agreed to contribute CAD$ 2 million (US$ 1.357 million) more in funding for five new marine projects throughout the South Pacific.

The delegates from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) discussed the projects with their partner regional organizations during a meeting of the Program Management Committee (PMC) for the Canada-South Pacific Ocean Development Program (C-SPOD) held on Friday in Suva, Fiji.

Members of the PMC include the South Pacific Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA), the South Pacific Forum Secretariat (ForSec), the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), the University of the South Pacific (USP), and CIDA, which donates funds through C-SPOD to the organizations.

C-SPOD is Canada's major regional commitment to the Pacific Islands. It reflects the Canadian and South Pacific viewpoint that ocean development is a key priority.

The new projects are joining 10 other approved projects, which are worth more than CAD$ 6 million (US$ 4.07 million), under Phase 2 of the C-SPOD program.

Since its formation in 1988, CIDA, through C-SPOD, has committed CAD$ 28 million (US$ 19 million) to finance various marine projects throughout the South Pacific.

The funding is supporting the continuing studies of several students in Marine Studies at the University of the South Pacific and the development of a training program in aquaculture.

Support is also being provided to the Solomon Islands-based Forum Fisheries Agency to continue its work on creating sustainable tuna development plans in three more countries, including the Fiji Islands and Tonga.

The FFA is also receiving money to study the government legislation of Forum Island countries to assess their adherence to international and regional obligations related to sustainable fisheries.

Members also approved a trade and environmental project on the exporting of fish and a certification program for the growing marine ornamental aquarium industry through the Forum Secretariat in Fiji.

Start up dates for the projects are yet to be determined.

For additional information, contact: Kenneth T. MacKay, C-SPODP II Field Program Coordinator, Jennifer Robinson, C-SPOD Media Relations, or Forum Secretariat Media Advisor Ulafala Aiavao at (679) 312 600.

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