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SPREP to hold Twenty Sixth meeting of Officials in Samoa

SPREP to hold Twenty Sixth meeting of Officials in Samoa. The Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) will be holding its Twenty Sixth Meeting of Officials in Apia next week. The Meeting brings together the governing council of SPREP to discuss SPREP strategic issues and approve the 2016 work plan for the organisation.

A number of different issues will be discussed by the 14 Pacific island and 5 metropolitan member countries and partners of SPREP. Over the three day meeting these include an update on the Pacific Climate Change Centre (PCCC), Climate Finance, discussion on a new regional strategy on waste management and the development of the next SPREP Strategic Plan.

A key outcome of the annual meeting will be the announcement of the new Director-General as the term of the current SPREP Head, Mr. David Sheppard, comes to a close at the end of this year.

“We have a busy three days in front of us as SPREP is on the cusp of a new era, not only in terms of leadership, but also the development of a new Strategic Plan that will take the environment organisation forward as we address the growing environmental challenges across our region,” said Mr. Sheppard.

“SPREP is facing some exciting times ahead and I am sure the organisation will continue to grow from strength to strength.”

The twenty-sixth meeting of officials will be preceded by the Pacific Environment Forum which will focus on the critical issue of climate finance, in particular on the Green Climate Fund. This will be the fourth Pacific Environment Forum held which brings together delegates from across the region to deliberate on key environment issues impacting the region. The outcomes of the PEF will also be discussed during the SPREP Meeting of Officials.

“Climate finance is a crucial issue at the moment, as SPREP, as an accredited regional implementing agency to the Green Climate Fund, take our responsibility very seriously and are working with our Pacific island Members to help access funding that can address the climate change impacts that we are facing,” said Dr. Netatua Pelesikoti, the Director of the Climate Change Division of SPREP.

“It is during this one day forum that we can identify a way forward to continue helping our Members in securing climate financing.”

The forum will be preceded by two important Convention meetings, one on Waste, the eighth meeting of the Waigani Convention, and the other on the Noumea Convention which helps manage marine pollution.

Ten Pacific countries are a party to the Noumea Convention and they are obliged to take all appropriate measures to ensure sound environmental management and development of natural resources.

The Waigani Convention aims to control the trans-boundary pollutant movements and help in the management of hazardous wastes within the Pacific region. There are currently 13 countries who are signatories to the Waigani Convention.

“Waste management is a growing challenge in the Pacific region; and we are pleased to be able to assist members through co-ordination of these two important international,” said Dr. David Haynes, Director of the Waste Management and Pollution Control at SPREP.

“The two days of Convention meetings and the major discussion on improved waste management over these coming days will help guide us forward as we work towards a Cleaner Pacific.”

All of the above meetings will be held at the Tanoa Tusitala in Apia. The 13th meet of the Noumea Convention is on 17 September, followed by the 8th meeting of the Waigani Convention on 18 September. The Pacific Environment Forum on Climate Finance is on 21 September and the Twenty-Sixth SPREP Meeting of Officials is from 22nd – 24th September.

Parties to the Noumea Convention are Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, France, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, and the United States.

Parties to the Waigani Convention are Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, New Zealand, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

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