Marshall Islands leads the Pacific island region in updating its State of Environment report

0
157

The Republic of the Marshall Islands is now working on updating their 2016 State of Environment (SOE) report. This year, the 2021 SOE has a focus on multi-stakeholder engagement and input during its preparation.

The SOE Reports provides a status of the environment, helping policy and decision-makers make informed decisions when it comes to environmental impact. Developing the 2021 Report in RMI has seen the formation of a process that brings national stakeholders together to stocktake progress made on national goals and the work still to be done.

A gathering was held in Marshall Islands Resort on 20 August, to start the multi-sector consultation to review data already collected to identify gaps.

A key component of the workshop was identifying updated data from stakeholders and validating the information that will go into the 2021 RMI SOE Report.

Participants from different government agencies and the private sector attended the workshop coordinated and facilitated by the RMI Climate Change Directorate (CCD) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) through the Inform Project.

Clarence Samuel, Director of RMI CCD, facilitated the proceedings of the consultation by welcoming participants both on-site and those who joined virtually.

“I am honoured and proud of the fact that RMI is exceptionally moving forward to update the last state of the environment report, and we are taking the lead in the Pacific in doing so,” said Catalino Kijiner, Deputy Chief Secretary of RMI CCD, in his opening remarks to express his gratitude to the participants for their collective efforts in supporting the development of the new SOE report.

“This State of Environment report provides information to not only assess areas of the environment for improvement but also to showcase and celebrate the extensive effort and progress that the Republic of Marshall Islands has achieved so far. Thank you to the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme for guiding the process and most certainly the stakeholders gathering today,”

The 2021 RMI SOE will present an overview of RMI’s environment across seven thematic areas these being Atmosphere and Climate, Land, Marine, Biodiversity, Culture and Heritage, Built Environment, and Nuclear Legacy.

It is envisaged that the 2021 national SOE report will provide data and information about environmental and social conditions, trends and pressures for the country and the surrounding seas since the last assessment in 2016. The 2021 SOE will also contribute to the development of the new National Environment Management Strategy (NEMS) which will support national sustainable development planning for RMI.

“The State of the Environment report is where you will find results of multi-sector assessments that has been layout in a language that is easy to understand and consume. The intent is to have solid and good data as well as information readily available in front of decision makers when they need it,” said Paul Andersen, the Inform Project Manager at SPREP.

He presented on the background of the SOE process and its importance as a baseline for effective environmental planning and decision making.

“All Pacific island countries are members to Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs), all of which have reporting requirements which can be overwhelming. The updated status of environmental indicators from the SOE can be used by RMI for reporting to MEAs. The process in developing this report is led by RMI, with SPREP providing backstopping support,” said Anderson.

The RMI SOE Workshop was held in Majuro and SPREP virtually on 20 August, 2021.

To further support the data collection and information sharing, the RMI Environment Data portal that has been established under the Inform project will be actively used to store and share data during the report development process.

The Inform project is establishing national environment data portals in 14 Pacific Island countries including Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Republic of Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu. The Inform project is based with SPREP’s Environmental Monitoring and Governance Programme.

For more information on the Inform project, please contact, Paul Anderson, Project Manager, email: paula@sprep.org

SOURCE: SPREP/PACNEWS