PACIFIC ISLANDERS MANAGING THE ENVIRONMENT

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SOUTH PACIFIC REGIONAL ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMME (SPREP) Apia, Samoa

PRESS RELEASE October 31, 2000

Blending the best environmental management techniques from the past and present has brought twenty Pacific islanders to Samoa for a week.

The group from six island states has gathered for a landmark project on Capacity Building for Environmental Management in the Pacific (CBEMP). Joining them are volunteers from the U.S Peace Corps.

The CBEMP aims to integrate the best traditional and non-traditional environmental management practices, by implementing a range of activities in association with governments, NGOs and community groups.

Project Manager Craig Wilson of the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) says the project is designed to encourage Pacific Islanders to use their natural resources in a sustainable way.

Those attending the workshop will be shown a range of skills to help put the project in place in their homelands. These include compiling community surveys, managing databases and developing education and awareness materials.

"We also want to encourage participants to learn about the traditional practices that are in use in Samoa."

A field trip to Safata village on the west side of the main island of Upolu will provide them with some hands on experience, he said.

Several organisations have banded together for the project that is being implemented by SPREP and funded by the United Nations Development Programme, while the Peace Corps are providing volunteers already working in communities to spread the message.

Along with hosts Samoa, the Federated States of Micronesia, Niue, Palau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu are attending.

For more information, contact: Fatu Tauafiafi at fatut@sprep.org.ws or Chris Peteru at chrisp@sprep.org.ws

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