Sustainable development across the Pacific is at the core of a strengthened partnership between Australia and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).
A new partnership arrangement was signed today formalising ongoing commitment from Australia for SPREP’s programmes for 21 Pacific island Members.
SPREP is the premiere regional inter-governmental organisation charged with the protection and sustainable management of the Pacific island region's environment.
A longtime supporter of SPREP’s work for a sustainable Pacific, Australia signed the SPREP treaty in 1993, the year it was established.
Minister for International Development and the Pacific Zed Seselja welcomed the renewed partnership, saying it supported a prosperous and resilient Blue Pacific.“COVID-19 has brought into even sharper focus the need for action to address ocean pollution, and build climate and disaster resilience within the Pacific,” Minister Seselja said.
“Australia is a world leader in taking action to protect our oceans. Together with SPREP, we are committed to working with our Pacific neighbours to combat the pervasive challenge of plastic pollution in our oceans.
SPREP implements four programmes to support sustainable development in the Pacific – Climate Change Resilience, Environmental Monitoring and Governance, Island and Ocean Ecosystems, and Waste Management and Pollution Control.
Home to the Pacific Climate Change Centre, SPREP works at the forefront of regional efforts to address environmental concerns. It provides national-level technical advice, programme support, capacity building and coordinated regional responses to global issues and international agreements.
Mr Kosi Latu, Director General of SPREP, acknowledged the significant partnership with Australia to progress sustainable development across the Pacific.
“As a historical partner of SPREP, we are grateful to Australia for their assistance. Given the role of our environment in shaping our Pacific way of life, culture and traditions - our work reaches down to the lives and homes of Pacific islands people,” said Mr Latu.
“Our partnership with Australia has helped make that happen. This is crucial now more than ever as we look to rebuild a resilient Pacific in the wake of COVID-19 and the myriad of environmental challenges we face.”
The new partnership arrangement was signed on 19 May 2021 during a virtual signing ceremony between Mr Latu and Minister Seselja. Mr Latu was joined at SPREP headquarters in Apia by Australia’s High Commissioner to Samoa, HE Sara Moriarty.
For more information, please contact Ms. Nanette Woonton at [email protected]