Environment Ministers and High-Level Representatives from SPREP’s member countries are returning home with a strengthened commitment to mobilise individually and collectively to address the impact of the triple planetary crises of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution, on Pacific communities.

The resounding call to action is highlighted in the SPREP Environment Ministers and High-Level Representatives Talanoa Communique 2023, committing SPREP member countries to implement the 2050 Blue Pacific Strategy and support the implementation of the 30×30 Target according to the Global Biodiversity Framework objectives.

The meeting also welcomed the offer by New Caledonia to host the 11th Pacific Islands Conference for Nature Conservation and Protected Areas.

These objectives are among the outcomes of the Environment Ministers and High-Level Representatives Talanoa, which recognises that while we are one Pacific, we have different contexts and priorities, in particular atoll states.

The Talanoa was attended by American Samoa, Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, France, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tokelau, Tuvalu, United Kingdom, United States of America, Vanuatu and Wallis and Futuna.

The endorsement of the SPREP Environment Ministers and High-Level Representatives Talanoa Communique 2023 was met with applause from delegates at Taumeasina Island Resort on Friday evening.

The Chair of Ministerial Talanoa and Tuvalu’s Minister for Public Utilities and Environment, Ampelosa Manoa Tehulu, said the work towards securing a more resilient blue Pacific environment never stops.

“I want to remind us all that we are servants of the people who placed us in the positions we are here for,” he said. “At the start of the day, we were reminded by the Minister from Samoa of the need to remember why we are here. He made the point that it is very important for us to go back home with something useful, something meaningful for our families, villages and countries.

“The discussions today were very fruitful, we’re not always going to agree on everything, there are some things we can agree on but there are other things we will have to continue to work on. Your leadership, contribution and hard work today, and your commitment to the work we have before us, will ensure the future generations of our countries will inherit a healthy environment.”

The Environment Ministers and High-Level Representatives Talanoa brought the curtain down on the 31st SPREP Meeting of Officials and associated meetings started on Monday with SPREP’s Partnership Dialogue, the 31st Meeting of Officials, and culminating with the Ministerial High-Level Talanoa.

“I want to thank you all for your hard work and your commitment to our cause here in Samoa today. I want to especially thank the Samoan government, who have been very gracious hosts, and I also want to express our appreciation to SPREP and all the staff for their work and in organising this very important meeting.”

SPREP’s Director General, Sefanaia Nawadra, expressed the Secretariat’s appreciation and gratitude to all the Member countries, partners and donors.

“In our efforts to fulfil our vision of ‘a resilient Pacific environment, sustaining our livelihoods and natural heritage in harmony with our cultures’, SPREP is extremely grateful to our valued Members, development partners, donors, our CROP family, and stakeholders,” he said. “At SPREP, we are here to serve our members and Pacific communities. If anything, this week has only strengthened our resolve to continue to do the work needed to ensure our future generations will inherit a healthy environment they can in turn pass on to their children, grandchildren and future generations.”

The next SPREP Meeting of Officials and Ministerial Talanoa will be hosted in Samoa in 2025.