SOLOMON ISLAND’S CORAL TRADE FOCUS OF CANADIAN FUNDED WORKSHOP

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SOUTH PACIFIC REGIONAL ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMME (SPREP) Honiara, Solomon Islands

News Release October 24, 2002

SOLOMON ISLAND’S CORAL TRADE FOCUS OF CANADIAN FUNDED WORKSHOP 21-23 October 2002

How best to preserve and enhance management of the Solomon Island’s coral trade is the subject of an intensive workshop this week in Honiara. The workshop was funded by the Canada South Pacific Ocean Development (C-SPOD) Programme and coordinated by the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) The three day meetings were held at the Solomon Kitano Mendana.

Representatives from the Departments of Environment, Fisheries, Agriculture, and Customs attended the workshop aimed at assisting the Solomon’s in improved management of the coral trade in particular compliance with CITES requirements.

The workshop looked at the status of the trade in the Solomon’s currently, the economic benefits the Solomon’s enjoy from the trade, the current management systems that government has in place and the planned improvements in these systems.

The workshop targeted a range of issues that various departments need to take into account when they are dealing with the export of corals and related species. Attention was also focused on the technical information and skills which compliance officers (customs, fisheries, quarantine) will require and the processes that need to be put in place.

Workshop coordinator Mary Power, Coastal Management Adviser, SPREP, is pleased to have put together this workshop in the Solomon’s.

" It is great that people will be coming together from so many government departments responsible for certifying exports of coral reef products. I think we will increase the understanding of the complexity of this industry and its importance. As a result there will be more government staff who are proficient in identifying the various corals that are exported from the Solomon’s."

This workshop will be another critical step forward in helping to create systems and train people who can manage this important trade. The outcomes will help ensure compliance with CITES requirements and help utilize Solomon Island’s reefs in a sustainable manner for the benefit of both industry and the local communities.

C-SPOD is Canada’s major regional commitment to the Pacific islands, worth more than $28-million over 14 years. Canadian funding is supporting regional projects that include turtle conservation, graduate student scholarships, sustainable management of the tuna fishery, and certification for the marine ornamentals trade. C-SPOD is funded by CIDA and is coordinated by the Forum Secretariat and LGL Ltd. For more information about C-SPOD go to www.c-spodp.org 

Media Contact:

Laura Palmer Media Relations Officer Canada South Pacific Ocean Development (C-SPOD) Program, Forum Secretariat Private Mail Bag,Suva,Fiji Tel: (679) 3312-600,3220 357 Fax:(679) 3312-696 E-mail: LauraP@forumsec.org.fj  Web Site:http://www.c-spodp.org 

Or

Mary Power Coastal Management Adviser South Pacific Regional Environment Programme ph: 685 21929 / fax 685 20231 PO Box 240, Apia, Samoa  maryp@sprep.org.ws   http://www.sprep.org.ws 

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