The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) will open its doors to the public on 16 June in celebration of the day the SPREP Treaty was signed.
Around 150 guests are expected to attend the Open Day, including students and teachers from seven schools, and diplomatic dignitaries.
One special addition that has resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic is the new virtual booth which will be held from 11am to 1.30pm. This will see the participation of SPREP’s outposted staff located in Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Republic of the Marshall Islands in the event and a further 50 guests who have registered for the virtual event.
“SPREP Open Days are an important day for our community as it is our opportunity to give back to our community and invite them to learn more about the work we do. Now a biennial event, these outreach events are always a privilege for us,” said Kosi Latu, Director General of SPREP.
“Showcasing our Pacific environment to students is always exciting as they represent the future we are fighting for, and if we can also go further and inspire our youth to pursue careers in the environment field that is truly special,” said Kosi Latu, Director General of SPREP.
“We are also celebrating 28 years since SPREP was established as a treaty based organisation, and 20 years since it moved to its compound here at Vailima.”
While the SPREP treaty was signed in 1993, the origins of SPREP date back to the 1970s when the first meetings convened discussing the importance of establishing an environmental arm for the Pacific.
Samoa has been the host of SPREP since 1992 when it was decided, this has since grown to a staff of over 100 with staff outposted in Fiji, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.
The SPREP Headquarters in Samoa is the regional host for the Pacific Climate Change Centre, a partnership between the Government of Samoa, the Japanese International Cooperation Agency, and the Government of New Zealand.
The theme for the day is ‘We are part of the solution’ and guests will hear more about how important it is for each of us to be environmental leaders to ensure a better future for our younger generations.
Topics which will be covered at various booths on the day include climate change, waste management and pollution control, environmental monitoring and governance, islands and ocean ecosystems, other careers at SPREP, and more.
Invitations were extended to tertiary students from University of the South Pacific at the Vanuatu and Republic of the Marshall Islands campuses, Solomon Islands National University and National University of Samoa to participate in the virtual booth, as well as Pacific media counterparts wishing to tune in.
“SPREP’s mandate is the Pacific environment. But at the heart of everything we do is our Pacific people, our community,” said Latu.
“Having had to close our doors last year due to COVID-19, we’re really pleased to be able to pick this back up again and share our work with our Pacific regional community. We hope this inspires them to become environment leaders in their families, schools and communities.”
General members of the public are also welcome to visit the campus and be part of the tours, and can contact organisers to enquire for more information.
The opening of the SPREP Open Day begins at 9.00am on Wednesday 16 June, followed by the guided school tours that will start from 9.30am until 1.30pm.
For more information please contact Lupe Silulu firstname.lastname@example.org or Angelica Salele-Sefo email@example.com