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NEWS RELEASE January 31,2002


The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat is coordinating a month long review of the Canadian South Pacific Ocean Development program (C-SPOD).  The review got under way this week with meetings at the Forum offices in Suva, Fiji.

C-SPOD program (Phase II) is Canada’s major regional commitment to the Pacific islands, worth more than $14-million over 7 years.  Canadian funding is supporting 15 regional projects that include turtle conservation, graduate student scholarships, sustainable management of the tuna fishery, and certification for the marine ornamentals trade.

The month long review, led by respected marine expert for the Pacific Robin Yarrow, is expected to provide a review of the existing projects that receive C-SPOD funding and to make suggestions regarding future funding opportunities.  They want to know if the projects receiving C-SPOD funding are achieving the expected results.  This is a distinctive approach to aid program management in the Pacific, one that has been well received and is viewed as a ‘test case’ for decision-making in the region. 

The review team led by Yarrow also includes Canadian marine expert Mr. John Carter and Pacific Island’s marine expert Ms. Anna Tiraa.  The trio will spend one month traveling around the region.  Stops along the way include the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, and Samoa, before returning to Fiji.  They’ll be meeting with government officials, regional agencies, NGO’s, project managers and, of course, the recipients themselves.

The team will be asking tough questions and demanding no nonsense answers.  The open review is vital to ensuring transparency of the entire process.  A successful review could help to ensure future Canadian government funding to the Pacific.

Dr. Kenneth MacKay is C-SPOD’s field program coordinator.  He’s confident the team will be more than satisfied with C-SPOD’s results in the region.

“We’ve had great success on so many fronts since CSPOD first arrived on the scene in 1997.  It’s been an amazing time to work in ocean development.”  MacKay says he’s extraordinarily proud of CSPOD’s record and he’s prepared to defend it.

This review is funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and coordinated by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.

For more information about C-SPOD go to

Media Contact: Laura Palmer Media Relations Officer Canada-South Pacific Ocean Development Program TEL: (679) 220 366

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