ADB AND SPREP SIGN MEMORANDUM OF

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SOUTH PACIFIC REGIONAL ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMME (SPREP) Apia, Samoa

Press Release February 29, 2000

UNDERSTANDING FOR CAPACITY BUILDING
ACTIVITIES IN THE PACIFIC

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) signed today in Apia, a Memorandum of Understanding that aims to improve the capacity of three Pacific Island countries to better manage their natural resources.

The Regional Technical Assistance for Capacity Building for Promoting Traditional Environmental Management in the Pacific Developing Member Countries will allocate a total of US$ 550,000 to the implementation of activities in education, awareness raising, training and information technology that will focus on the use of traditional knowledge. ADB will provide US$ 300,000, SPREP will contribute US$ 190,000 and the participating governments will contribute a total of US$ 60,000 through in-kind contributions.

Before signing the Memorandum of Understanding, Mr. Edy Brotoisworo, Senior Environment Specialist and Mission Leader for the Asian Development Bank, highlighted the collaborative working relationship between ADB and SPREP that commenced with the National Environmental Management Strategy (NEMS) program and now continues with this newly developed Technical Assistance program.

"The value of traditional environmental knowledge is rated very highly within Pacific Island countries and this project will ensure that such knowledge is integrated within national education and resource management systems to encourage better use of the participating countries’ natural resources," said Mr. Tamari‘i Tutangata, SPREP’s Director.

The Technical Assistance project will work in collaboration with SPREP’s Capacity Building for Environmental Management in the Pacific (CBEMP) project that is currently collecting and documenting traditional environmental knowledge. This information will be used in the Technical Assistance project to develop education resource materials and awareness raising information that will target schools and decision makers at the government and community level. The information will also be made available through the development of Internet websites and CD-ROM.

Pacific countries involved in the Technical Assistance project include the Cook Islands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and Vanuatu.

For additional information, contact: Fatu Tauafiafi (fatut@sprep.org.ws) or Craig Wilson (craigw@sprep.org.ws). 

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