Sunday, June 26, 2011

[pima.nius] SPREP News

12:33 PM |

Text Box:  The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP)

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SPREP News followed by Pacific Environment News

Message from SPREP on the International Day of the Seafarer


FileOn Wednesday 15 June 2011, seven traditional double-hulled vaka (sailing canoes) arrived safely in the warm harbours of the Big Island of Hawaii after 59 days of sailing some 6,500 nautical miles from Aotearoa (New Zealand) via Tahiti and the Marquesas. These Pacific Voyagers bring messages of urgency regarding the plight of the ocean and the need to take strong measures to reduce species loss, maintain fish stocks and minimise impacts of ocean acidification.

Even as we recognise the great efforts of these 120 individuals, we at the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) wish to also pay tribute to all seafarers everywhere, in recognition of International Day of the Seafarer, being observed on 25 June.

International Day of the Seafarer, sponsored by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), has been set aside in honour of the 1.5million individuals who have made seafaring their livelihood. According to the IMO, 90% of the world's trade is conducted via shipping. In the Pacific there are 11 maritime training institutes producing hundreds of seafarers every year. Although the number of Pacific island seafarers may be small in the global context, their employment on foreign-flag vessels contributes significant economic benefits to small island nations such as Kiribati and Tuvalu. Many of these seafarers spend significant portions of their lives at sea, leaving behind loved ones and often working in extremely difficult circumstances.

Technology, even on a traditional voyaging vessel, allows today's seafarer access to the internet, voice calls and photo streaming. Global positioning systems provide direction in place of stars and sextants and one is seldom without some contact with land.

But the life of the seafarer continues to be a lonely and, at times, dangerous one. The only human contact is with fellow members of the crew. Out there on the unpredictable ocean, the individual is vulnerable, not only to the forces of nature but, at times to the darker side of human nature. The IMO, in partnership with the International Labour Organisation, is working to ensure that seafarers have the right to working conditions equitable with people on shore. International Day of the Seafarer is an opportunity to raise awareness on such issues.

It is also an opportunity to remind us of the role of the seafarer as stewards of the ocean. Ships have the potential to contribute to great swathes of pollution in the ocean – garbage, sewage, ballast water and oil could all easily make their way into the ocean with huge negative consequences for marine species and the economies and health of our small islands. Seafarers must adhere to conventions and protocols established to guide good practice in waste disposal and dealing with crises resulting in oil spills.

This 25 June, we take the opportunity to say thank to those among the world's seafarers who, like the Pacific Voyagers, have committed to protecting the ocean. We say thank you for respecting our marine creatures, thank you for using alternative sources of waste disposal, thank you for being good ambassadors for the ocean.

We urge all users of the ocean to practice good stewardship of this very special part of our Pacific heritage.

Photo: Copyright Stuart Chape, image of the Hine Moana and crew, 2010

New agreement gives hope for Pacific birdlife


FileThe BirdLife International Pacific Partnership and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) have signed a revised Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which will strengthen the two organisations' efforts to work on joint conservation objectives across the region.

"This is an important document for our future collaboration", said David Sheppard - Director of SPREP. "By focusing on specific area of cooperation, the MoU will make more effective use of the respective capacities and strengths of both our organisations.

SPREP is a regional organisation established by the governments and administrations of the Pacific region to look after its environment. Its mandate is to promote cooperation in the Pacific islands region and to provide assistance in order to protect and improve the environment and to ensure sustainable development for present and future generations".

The MoU acknowledges that the Pacific region has more threatened bird species per unit of land area or per person than any other region in the world, and the most extinctions.

"Birds have long been recognised as effective indicators of biodiversity condition and concerns", said Don Stewart – Director for the BirdLife Pacific Partnership. "It is the stated aim of SPREP and BirdLife that no more bird species must be allowed to become extinct in the Pacific region, and that the conservation status of threatened birds must be improved".

The revised MoU seeks to enhance co-operation between Birdlife and SPREP to achieve the following joint objectives:

• Collaborate on delivering conservation action to improve the status of the globally threatened species and the status of Important Bird Areas within the Pacific region.
• Collaborate in the implementation of the "Invasive Species Management Guidelines for the Pacific".
• Extend to each other standing invitations to be represented by observers at appropriate meetings, including the annual SPREP Meeting and the biannual BirdLife Pacific Partnership Meetings and to co-sponsor relevant meetings.
• Keep respective memberships informed of co-operative activities undertaken pursuant to the MOU.

The MoU was signed on Monday 13th June in Suva, Fiji.

Image of a Golden Plover in Samoa, a migratory bird that travels annually to the Pacific region from Alaska to feed and develop their summer plumage before migrating back home




Ministries and Community Unites for the Plight of Tonga's Turtles


Ministries.jpg23 June 2011:  Representatives from various sectors of the community and around the Kingdom attended a workshop in early June focused on turtle conservation in the Pacific. The workshop was facilitated by Lui Bell from the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program (SPREP). continued…



SPC and SPREP Ready to Assist Response to Marovo Marine Life Deaths


23 June 2011: The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Environment Programme (SPREP) have pointed out that they are stand ready to assist the Solomon Islands government's response to the large-scale deaths of marine animals in Marovo Lagoon. This was confirmed by Mia Rimon, Coordinator, Solomon Islands Country Office. She said the death of all marine life, including fish and deep dwelling marine life never before seen by villagers, in parts of the lagoon was first noticed on 3 June along with discolouration of the sea. continued... [Related news]


SPREP Congratulates Resort for "Walking the Talk" with World Oceans Day Activity


SPREP congratulates.jpg14 June 2011:  Shangri-La's Fijian Resort & Spa staff and volunteers from the Cuvu District School Environment Club potted and planted more than 300 mangrove seedlings and made two fish houses to mark World Ocean Day that was celebrated globally on Wednesday 8th June. Twenty eight students from the Cuvu Environment club were split into two groups to take part in the fun filled activities led by Marine Manager, Ms. Mereoni Mataika. The event was held over three hours with mini quizzes which saw each student going home with a prize, mangrove potting along the Yanuca eastern coast and fish house building. To end the day, the children were hosted to refreshments provided by the Resort and a prize giving ceremony for quiz winners.  continued…


Vanuatu Launches the Pacific Year of the Dugong (PYOD) Campaign


pyod_Logo_200.jpg6 June 2011:   The Vanuatu Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Steven Kalsakau, launched the Vanuatu PYOD campaign on Monday 6 June 2011. The launched was held at the Vanuatu Kultural Senta, and was attended by representatives from various Government Departments and NGOs.  The launch was together with the launching of a book, "Santo 2006", produced by IRD ('Institut de recherche pour le d√©veloppement) Noumea. The book entails a "ridge to reef" research project conducted on Vanuatu's biggest island, Espiritu Santo, in 2006. The project involved many Government agencies in Vanuatu. The Vanuatu PYOD launch was also on "World Environment Day" June 6.  The Vanuatu Department of Environment is working with the Department of Fisheries on activities, including school awareness programme, for the second half of the year. The questionnaire-based dugong survey is also being conducted through-out Vanuatu involving Peace Corp Volunteers for the outer Islands.  continued… [PYOD Website] [PYOD on FACEBOOK]


Latest SPREP Publications


PACPOL Strategy 2010-2014 - Summary for Policy Makers (Brochure)


Pacpol strategy summary_brochure.jpg  Click here to download a copy


International Pollution Regulations – Disposal of all plastic into the sea is Prohibited (Sticker)


prohibited sticker.jpg Click here to download a copy



Please send suggestions for articles, events and other news developments to either of these emails or for inclusion in our next issue.


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