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Agreement to initiate new research on coral reefs, invasive species and other key environmental health indicators for Pacific islands
8:19 pm GMT+12, 17/09/2019, Samoa

The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) has renewed its five-year partnership agreement with The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the world’s largest conservation group.
 
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) provides a framework for continued cooperation between SPREP and TNC to improve collaboration and encourage technical exchange in a variety of areas, including spatial planning, data sharing, building management capacity, implementing ecosystem-based adaptation, and monitoring and evaluation.
 
“The Nature Conservancy is an important partner for SPREP and we look forward to continuing our collaboration in the Pacific region to jointly address critical  conservation and environmental management issues for the benefit of Pacific island countries,” said SPREP Acting Deputy Director General Stuart Chape, who signed the agreement with TNC Pacific Division Director Trina Leberer at the recent Pacific Islands Roundtable for Nature Conservation’s 22nd meeting in Suva, Fiji .
 
As the first joint task under the agreement, TNC will lead a team of scientists to assess a range of environmental indicators, including live coral cover, terrestrial and marine protected area health, status of threatened species, and presence of invasive species such as crown-of-thorn starfish, rats and non-native birds that have impacted ecosystems across the Pacific. Assessments will be uploaded on the publicly available Pacific Environment Portal (PEP), and will complement existing regional and national environmental information, and will form the basis of the first Regional State of Environment Report and the updated version of the State of Conservation Report 2020.
 
“There is a growing sense of urgency in the Pacific to push for bolder conservation actions resulting in greater benefits to communities,” said Trina Leberer. “These reports will provide critical information for Pacific island countries and territories as they identify their priorities to meet these needs in the next ten years.”
 
Following consultation with National Focal Points, Indicator Reference Groups, and regional specialists on specific indicators, SPREP and TNC will develop a Regional Response Document, which will link findings to key regional conservation strategies, including the Regional Framework for Nature Conservation and the Sustainable Development Goals.
 
Together, this new information will be crucial in developing a clear set of regional outputs and messaging efforts at major events in 2020, including the 10th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas, to be held next April in Noumea, New Caledonia.

SOURCE: SPREP/PACNEWS


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