SPREP Monthly Highlights

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June/July 2000 Volume 5/2000


Cook Islands

• The Cook Islands government has given support for regional capacity building through a pilot country-to-country assistance initiative in which teachers who have taken part in SPREP’s environmental education workshops, are able to pass on those skills to their colleagues in near-by villages, districts and islands.

• SPREP’s Director met with Cook Islands Prime Minister Terepai Maoate, his Deputy and Environment Minister Norman George and several cabinet ministers. Detailed talks were also held with the Environment Service.

Fiji/Solomon Islands/Vanuatu

The continuing political instability in both Fiji and the Solomon Islands has meant a number of SPREP activities were cancelled or postponed. The unrest in the Solomons has caused the Vanuatu government to postpone the UNESCO/SPREP/EU Pacific Environmental Information Network media workshop which was to take place on 21–25 September 2000.


• French ambassador M. Jacky Musnier paid a brief official visit to SPREP. He was greeted by SPREP’s Officer in Charge Mr. Ray Wright, and SPREP Environmental Law Officer, M. Jacques Mougeot, whose position is funded by France. On behalf of SPREP, Mr. Wright conveyed to the ambassador the Secretariat’s appreciation to the Government of France, for France’s US$100,000 dollar contribution to the building of the SPREP Centre at Vailima. M. Musnier was taken to the site for a brief tour, and later to a luncheon hosted by SPREP management. Also in attendance was the Samoan honorary French consul, Mme. Zita-Sefo Martel.

• SPREP’s Director attended a high-level climate change and development meeting held by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Niue–Hakupu Coconut Oil enterprise

Huvalu CA: A small community enterprise producing coconut oil is being proposed for the village of Hakupu, following the successful completion of a six-month trial. Part of the trial included a feasibility and marketing study based on production and costs. The study proved positive and a business plan for Hakupu Coconut Oil Enterprises has now been prepared.

Nauru/Tuvalu–World Environment Day

Support was provided for World Environment Day activities in Tuvalu and Nauru. Nauru received material for use as prizes in their environmental awareness competitions and future awareness-raising activities. A certificate of recognition from SPREP was also presented to an official of the Nauru Education Department for her contribution to environmental education in Nauru.


Rock Islands CA: SPBCP Officer, François Martel, visited Palau to work with local partner agency, Palau Conservation Society, on consultations for the Transition Strategy for the CA once SPBCP support winds up in 2001. A draft Transition Strategy was the main outcome of this visit. Meanwhile the Koror State Government approved the set-up of a Task Force to develop a comprehensive Management Plan for the Rock Islands.

Papua New Guinea–Waste report

The Waste Awareness and Solutions through Education (WASTE) Coordinator, Dr Suresh Raj, was in PNG to provide the Office of Environment and Conservation (OEC) with a copy of the final draft of the Port Moresby Waste Characterization Study Report. Discussion on the findings with interested parties also took place. Further talks with staff from OEC and other relevant PNG partners detailing other WASTE funded activities were held. WASTE is funded by the EU.

Samoa: Educational resource material

The United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) granted US$6,000 dollars to SPREP’s Capacity Building for Environmental Management in the Pacific (CBEMP) project to assist in the development of educational resource materials for Samoa. Training will be provided to assist Samoa produce resource materials that will be used to raise awareness, and provide information on the importance of traditional practices regarding local marine resources. CBEMP is a UNDP-funded project.

Tonga: New signs for Ha’apai

Ha’apai CA: A series of new signs for the Ha’apai Group was installed on Lifuka and Foa islands. The signs provide visitors and residents with information about Ha’apai’s biodiversity and other attractions in the group. Eleven signs were produced and a new logo representing the Ha’apai CA was designed as part of a Signage and Interpretive Strategy.


• SPBCP, with funding from NZODA’s Pacific Initiative for the Environment (PIE), is developing a marine ecotourism strategy for Funafuti; and purchased a new vessel to patrol and monitor lagoon activities in the Funafuti Marine CA.

• Funafuti CA: An Australian volunteer (Ms Sharon Marks) working with the Funafuti Marine Conservation Area, spent time with the SPBCP Team as well as other relevant SPREP officers in Apia to familiarize herself with the project before taking up her Tuvalu posting.

Niue, Palau, Samoa, Tonga

The East Asia and Pacific Environmental Initiative (EAPEI) granted Niue, Palau, Samoa, and Tonga a total of US$188,000 for work on environmental education and management as part of the CBEMP project.

This new initiative will complement the activities of the CBEMP project.


SPREP Action Plan: Regional workshop

(New Zealand) A meeting of 26 representatives from 23 SPREP member countries and territories to discuss the SPREP 2001-2004 Initial Draft Action Plan in Auckland, from 14 to 16 June. A report reviewing the 1997–2000 Action plan was presented. Countries approved of the Secretariat’s review process and agreed to back the draft 2001–2004 Action Plan which will now be presented to the Environment Ministers’ Forum for endorsement at the 11 SPREP Meeting in Guam on 13 October, 2000. The Auckland meeting was held with assistance from NZODA.

Environmental Information Network Workshop

(Samoa) 20 representatives from nine SPREP member countries met at the USP Alafua campus (Samoa) for the second Environmental Information Network Subregional Workshop. The workshop focused on ways to improve the network which can now access 28,000 records available from seven participating countries plus SPREP’s IRC collection. That figure is expected to increase to 38,000 by next year’s European Union funded meeting in the Cook Islands. A key outcome from the meeting is that a three-year EU/ SPREP in-country regional library training program for 2000-2003 has now been implemented. The network address is IRC@sprep.org.ws . Countries involved: American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Samoa. The workshop was funded by AusAID.

Started: the Strategic Action Programme (SAP) for International Waters of the Pacific Islands Region

The Programme focuses on developing initiatives associated with the conservation and management of the region’s tuna resource, in collaboration with the Forum Fisheries Agency and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community. Demonstration projects to help define the best practices for conservation initiatives in coastal watersheds, community-based waste reduction, sustainable coastal fisheries and marine protected areas will be implemented. The Global Environment Facility (GEF), through its implementing agency UNDP, is providing US$12 million to support program activities over a five-year period. Countries involved: Cook Islands, FSM, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, PNG, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

Regional Mangrove Video Launch

(Samoa) SPREP marked World Environment Day on 5 June with the release of a video on the region’s dwindling mangrove wetlands, titled "A Mangrove Story". In his keynote address, Samoa’s PM Hon. Tuilaepa S. Malielegaoi applauded the video initiative and urged greater action to protect mangroves. In organizing the launch, SPREP worked together with the Samoa Department of Lands, Surveys and Environment. The video was funded by AusAID.

Regional Seagrass Launch

(American Samoa) The 19th Annual Pacific Islands Conference in American Samoa was the location for the regional launch of the SPREP Seagrass Factsheet. Funded by AusAID, the factsheet aims to promote awareness of the importance of sea grasses, mangroves and wetlands in keeping the balance in coastal ecosystems.

Asia Pacific Journalists conference

(Fiji) SPREP contributed technical and financial assistance to the Asia/Pacific Environmental Journalists Conference in Nadi. The conference focused on climate change and provided opportunities for SPREP to profile its climate change and information and publication activities.



Technical reports

• GHG Inventories in PICCAP Countries: Evaluation and Regional Synthesis of National Greenhouse Gas Inventories–General Assessments and Regional Synthesis



Dr Bruce Graham: Coordinator-Waste Management and Pollution Prevention

Taking up the above position at SPREP, Bruce is responsible for coordinating the work of the organization in the critical area of waste management and pollution prevention. Prior to joining SPREP, Bruce worked as an environmental consultant, specializing in air quality management, chemical hazard identification and control, and hazardous waste management in New Zealand, Asia and the Pacific. His latest consultancy work was for SPREP with two other consultants to identify POPs in Pacific island countries. The published report based on this work will be officially launched later in August by SPREP and AusAID.

Chris Peteru: Editorial/Publications Officer

Chris joined SPREP in March. Since arriving in Samoa from New Zealand he has worked for local and overseas newspapers, international news agencies, and regional magazines. He will be involved in media and publications.

Matt McIntyre: Environmental Assessment and Reporting Officer

Matt started work with SPREP in May. Prior to this Matt moved from Australia to Niue in March 1997 to manage an AusAID /Niue government project aimed at setting up an Environmental Planning/Resource Use Planning system in the country. In Australia Matt worked as a consultant for NGOs, community groups as well as local, federal, and state government.

Ms Danfung Binoka, Education Officer for FSP

Visiting SPREP for a week is Ms. Danfung Binoka. Danfung is the Education Officer with the Foundation for the Peoples of the South Pacific (FSP) stationed in Kiribati. She is also the project officer for the Kiribati Environmental Education Project (KEEP). Danfung has been a key player in KEEP’s activities, producing and delivering a series of posters, drama activities and other awareness raising activities in Kiribati. She spent one-week at SPREP working with SPREP’s Environmental Education Officer Ms Seema Deo.


Dr. Graham Sem

SPREP bids farewell to PICCAP’s Scientific Adviser, Graham. After three years with SPREP, Graham is taking up a Program Officer‘s position with the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bonn, Germany. We wish Graham and family all the best for the future.

For further information contact Mr. Fatu Tauafiafi or Mr. Chris Peteru Email: fatut@sprep.org.ws chrisp@sprep.org.ws  Fax (685) 20231 Phone (685) 21929 Website: www.sprep.org.ws" target="_blank">http://www.sprep.org.ws 

Postal address PO Box 240 Apia, Samoa

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