SPREP Releases Annual Meeting Outcomes

SPREP20 September 2012: The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) has highlighted the key outcomes of its 23rd Annual Meeting, which convened in Noumea, New Caledonia, from 30 August-8 September 2012. The meeting addressed four key areas: ocean conservation and management; renewable energy; financing for biodiversity and climate change; and follow-up to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20).

According to SPREP, members called on the international community to support Pacific efforts, specifically the World Bank's Global Oceans Partnership, to provide practical, tangible and immediate support to the ocean initiatives of Pacific countries and territories. The meeting also adopted Marine Species Action Plans for 2013-2017, focusing on dugongs, marine turtles and cetaceans. Members also endorsed the convening of the five-yearly Pacific Nature Conservation Conference, scheduled to be held in Fiji, in November 2013. The conference will be an opportunity to agree on actions to address biodiversity loss.

The meeting noted the benefits to the Pacific of the Rio+20 Outcome Document, and stressed the need to capitalize on opportunities provided, specifically the recognition of the “Special Case of Small Island States,” which places emphasis on issues relevant to the large ocean states of the Pacific. Such issues include climate change and the need for effective ocean governance and management.

The meeting also noted major progress in the renewable energy sector, through the development and implementation of ambitious renewable energy road maps. Members applauded Tokelau, which now generates 100% of its energy from solar energy, replacing the previously used imported diesel.

On waste, members endorsed the Pacific Regional E-waste strategy and Action Plan, and noted good progress with the Clean Pacific 2012 Campaign, which works to improve management of waste and pollution in the Pacific region.

According to SPREP, its direct financial support to members increased from US$2.4 million in 2010, to US$4.3 million in 2011. In addition, support for Pacific regional activities increased from US$7 million in 2010 to US$8.3 million in 2011. SPREP has also reduced its staff costs from 45% of its budget in 2009, to 27% of its total budget in 2012.

The 23rd Annual SPREP Meeting approved a work plan and budget of US$18.8 million for 2013. [SPREP Press Release on Outcomes] [SPREP Press Release on Financial Support]