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High Level Segment of largest Pacific Nature Conference opens
04:28 am GMT+12, 26/11/2020, Samoa

Pacific leaders in protecting Pacific islands biodiversity met today during the virtual High-Level Segment of the 10th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas.
 
Hosted by New Caledonia, the Pacific environment leaders came together over a special roundtable session to discuss their commitment to the Vemööre Declaration: Commitments to nature conservation action in the Pacific Islands region, 2021-2025.
 
“I’d like to thank all those who worked together all year on this, the Vemoore Declaration has now been finalised, for it to be implemented we have to make major commitments at our own levels,” presented  Jean Pierre Djaïwé, New Caledonia Chair, the host country.
 
“I’m counting on you, the people of the oceans and the islands.”
 
The special session brought together high-level delegates representing Australia, BirdLife International, cChange Pacific, Conservation International, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, France French Polynesia, IUCN Oceania Regional Office, Niue, New Zealand and Samoa, Solomon Islands, The Nature Conservancy, The Pacific Community, The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme, Tokelau, Tonga, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna, World Conservation Society, and World Wildlife Fund.
 
It was the opportunity for these Pacific environment leaders to learn more about the State of Conservation in the Pacific islands, and gain an understanding of the Pacific Islands Framework for Nature Conservation and Protected Areas that will guide Pacific conservation efforts over the next five years.  
 
Chair of the Pacific Islands Roundtable for Nature Conservation, Mason Smith of IUCN Oceania Region reflected upon the first conference of this kind hosted by New Zealand 45 years ago, calling for action needed for our future.
 
“We must act now.  The theme of this Conference is Nature Conservation Action for a Resilient Pacific, the operative work being action,” presented Mr Smith during the opening of the High-Level Segment.
 
“I encourage us all to hold ourselves accountable and take action where necessary.  Let us help ourselves first before we ask others to help us.Let us be resilient.”
 
The 10th Pacific Island Conference on Nature Conservation is testament to the dedication and commitment from Pacific islanders and partners to protect our island biodiversity.  The largest Pacific gathering of its kind was scheduled to take place in April this year, yet the pandemic COVID-19 saw a major change take place, requiring fast action from many to make the event happen in a virtual space.
 
Commitment towards the Vemööre Declaration: Commitments to nature conservation action in the Pacific Islands region, 2021-2025 during the High-level segment is further tribute to the significant importance of this event.  In all over 1,700 people have registered and are participating in the Conference.
 
“I would like to thank all partners that have come together with enthusiasm and passion for the ‘greater good’ - a Pacific biodiversity that is strong, building the resilience of our Pacific islands people and communities.  This Conference demonstrates what we can achieve when we work as one,” said Kosi Latu, Director General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).
 
“The outcomes of this Conference will take the voices of the Pacific to international forums as part of the Blue Pacific contribution to urgent actions for nature conservation and building back a better planet for future generations.”.

SOURCE: SPREP/PACNEWS


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