This concludes the news coverage from the 25th Annual General Meeting of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme, images can be found atwww.sprep.org. Thank you very much for your interest and support in sharing the news from this event,
Manuia le aso,
- 25th SPREP Meeting concludes in Majuro, Marshall Islands
- World-first shipping plan to deliver cleaner oceans for the Pacific region
- Linking the right people to the right climate change actions
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- Delegates from #AmericanSamoa #Australia #RMI and #UK
- Delegates from #FSM #France #CookIslands and #PNG
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25th SPREP Meeting concludes in Majuro, Marshall Islands
3 October 2014, Majuro Marshall Islands – On the fourth and final day of the 25th Annual Meeting of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme, High Level representatives from across the Pacific island region and beyond called for less talk and more action on climate change financing. Other key themes discussed at the Meeting included the importance of building island resilience, developing the blue-green economy and the growing meaningful and durable partnerships to achieve common goals.
Today’s High Level Segment was Chaired by Hon. Tony de Brum, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and attended by Ministers and Heads of Delegations from 25 countries and territories that are Members of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).
Today’s High Level Segment and conclusion of the 25th SPREP Meeting was preceded by three days of discussion involving a total of 132 delegates representing SPREP Member countries and territories, key stakeholders, partner organisations, donors and observers.
Highlights of the week included the endorsement of the 2015 work programme and budget of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the formulation and endorsement of a powerful Meeting Declaration.
Delegates to the Meeting thanked the Republic of the Marshall Islands for their hospitality and generosity in hosting the annual event and noted that, as per protocol, next year’s meeting will be held in SPREP’s host country of Samoa.
World-first shipping plan to deliver cleaner oceans for the Pacific region
2 October 2014, Majuro Marshall Islands – A new plan, endorsed just last week, will result in the reduction of waste materials being dumped from ships in Pacific waters. And less pollution and waste in our oceans is good news for the people and environment of the Pacific region.
The Regional Reception Facilities Plan, developed by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is the first of its kind in the world.
The term ‘reception facilities’ refers to special infrastructure that enables ships to safely offload waste (such as garbage, sewage and used oil) when they arrive in port. This means that ships are less likely to simply dump waste when they are at sea – or indeed, when they’re in port.
Many small island developing states lack these reception facilities. The significance of this Plan is that it recognises five Pacific shipping hubs – in Apia, Suva, Port Moresby, Noumea and Papeete – as being regional centres for the safe offloading of waste from ships.
Aside from the obvious benefit of less waste in our oceans, the Plan will mean that an increased number of countries are able to sign up to the International Convention for the Prevention of Marine Pollution from Ships (MARPOL). Previously, the lack of reception facilities had prevented many countries from becoming a Party to this important international agreement.
Mr Anthony Talouli, Pollution Adviser at SPREP, explains:
“This is the first time that an IMO Convention has recognised the unique challenges faced by small island developing states. As a result of this new Plan, small island developing states in the Pacific region will be able to better enforce the MARPOL Convention and prevent ships from polluting in their national waters.”
SPREP’s Director of Waste Management and Pollution Control, Dr David Haynes, explains the implications of this world-first approach to marine pollution:
“This partnership between SPREP and AMSA to improve ship waste management facilities will have lasting benefits for the Pacific region and its communities who rely to a large extent on its unpolluted marine resources for their livelihoods.”
The endorsement of the Plan was a key outcome of the twelfth meeting of the Convention for the Protection of the Natural Resources and Environment of the South Pacific Region and Related Protocols – known as the Noumea Convention – which concluded in Majuro, Marshall Islands on 26 September.
SPREP and AMSA will be presenting the endorsed Regional Reception Facilities Plan to the international community at the International Maritime Organization Marine Environment Programme Committee Meeting in April, 2015.
Linking the right people to the right climate change actions
2 October 2014, Majuro Marshall Islands – A new programme designed to link technical experts working in the field of climate change and disaster risk management to the countries and projects that need them most was highlighted yesterday at the 25th Annual Meeting of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme.
Housed within the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience’s Regional Technical Support Mechanism (RTSM) provides an online portal through which technical experts can register their skills, and eligible countries can request technical assistance to support climate and disaster-related priorities in the Pacific region.
Crucially, within the RTSM is an associated Rapid Response Fund (RRF) which finances the deployment of experts to provide technical assistance for Pacific island countries eligible under this initiative.
Funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the RTSM and RRF is a collaborative undertaking of all agencies in the Pacific Council of Regional Organisations and their associated development partners and donors.
Speaking at the special side event, Dr Netatua Pelesikoti, SPREP’s Director of Climate Change, talked about the variety of ways that the RTSM and associated RRF can benefit Pacific island countries and territories:
“The RTSM can provide technical assistance in a range of different areas from developing project concepts, training and writing proposals through to direct hands-on project assessments or planning – such as provision of civil engineers for projects designed to climate proof infrastructure.”
“Best of all,” Dr Pelesikoti added, “the interventions are designed to be rapid, with the aim of progressing requests for support within a three month period. It is an excellent model of coordination and collaboration by all regional agencies and development partners and donors involved.”
At yesterday’s event, more than 60 participants were introduced to the RTSM website and shown how to register as an expert and request technical assistance online. Ms Satui Bentin, the RTSM Coordinator, was pleased with the enthusiastic reception from regional agencies and SPREP member representatives.
“Immediately after the event we had four new individuals register as technical experts as well as an additional four queries around requesting technical assistance. This is a very encouraging response for this very new model of support and we look forward to receiving even more registrations, most especially from experts with Pacific island experience, and applications from member countries over the coming months.”
Ms Bentin explains that interested individuals with proven experience in developing and implementing climate change related projects in the Pacific region are invited to register with the RTSM. Applications for support from eligible countries are also warmly welcomed.
SPREP is the lead implementing agency for this regional initiative, which is supported by Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Deutsche GesellschaftfürInternationaleZusammenarbeit (GIZ), the University of the South Pacific, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Forum Fisheries Agency and the South Pacific Tourism Organisation, under the guidance of the Council of Regional Organisations of the Pacific Executives Subcommittee on Climate Change and Disaster Resilient Development (CES-CCRD).