CANADA-SOUTH PACIFIC OCEAN DEVELOPMENT

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NEWS RELEASE September 25, 2000

NEW WEB SITE TO FOCUS ON CANADA'S PACIFIC OCEAN INITIATIVES

Floating out in cyberspace, much like tiny island nations in the South Pacific, is a newly designed web site focusing on Canada's role in supporting Pacific nations in sustaining and exploiting their greatest natural resource - the broad blue expanse of the Pacific Ocean.

The Canada-South Pacific Ocean Development (C-SPOD) web site is located at www.c-spodp.org.

The site -- which has both graphics and text only pages to aid users with slow Internet connections -- contains information on C-SPOD and projects it's funding with it's Pacific regional partner organizations, links to ocean-related sites in the Pacific and Canada, as well as articles and press releases.

The site also has news on other Canadian organizations operating in the Pacific, namely the Canada Fund, run by the Canadian High Commissions in Australia and New Zealand, and CUSO, which has its Pacific headquarters in Vanuatu.

"The goal of the web site is to provide people from around the world with a better understanding of ocean-related issues that are of special importance to Pacific Islanders," says Dr. Ken MacKay, C-SPOD field program coordinator.

"We're also trying to highlight Canada's three decades of support to the region in funding ocean-related projects, such as tuna management plans for countries like Solomon Islands through the South Pacific Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) and sea turtle conservation at the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP)."

Now in its second phase, the $28-million Cdn C-SPOD program is the Canadian government's primary development initiative in the South Pacific region. At the heart of the program is the belief that sustainable ocean development is a key priority for the region. Worth more than $14-million Cdn, the second phase is set to run until 2004 and is already supporting 14 projects focusing on the sustainable development and management of the region's living marine resources.

C-SPOD, Phase II is funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and coordinated by the South Pacific Forum Secretariat and LGL Limited, Canada. C-SPOD projects are developed and implemented by the participating Regional Organizations, and are approved and managed by a Program Management Committee including CIDA, the South Pacific Forum Fisheries Agency in Solomon Islands, the South Pacific Forum Secretariat in Suva, Fiji, the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme in Apia, Samoa, and The University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji. All C-SPOD projects will ensure equity and balanced benefits for all Pacific Islanders including children, women, and men.

For more information, please contact Jennifer Robinson, C-SPOD Media Relations Assistant, at (679) 312 600 or at jenniferr@forumsec.org.fj 

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