Enhancing planning and conservation outcomes for Pacific Island biodiversity

Enhanced planning and delivery of better outcomes for the conservation of Pacific island biodiversity is at the core of training underway this week in New Zealand for Pacific islanders.

The training is focused on Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation, a five-step conservation planning process that combines principles and best practices in adaptive management and results-based management from conservation and other fields. The Open Standards are designed to be applicable at any geographic, temporal, or programmatic scale.
Open Standards participantsParticipants at the Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation training 

"The central idea is for participants to take what they learn during this training and apply it to the remaining activities under their Integrated Island Biodiversity projects, also for them to apply the skills acquired to upcoming and future biodiversity conservation projects that they will be working on in their respective countries," said Ms. Easter Galuvao, of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).

"This type of training is a really positive sign that Pacific island countries are taking the challenges they face in terms of maintaining both their marine and terrestrial environments very seriously. Climate change was mentioned by most participants during the 1st session as a threat to not only their environment but also to their livelihoods and cultural values" said Mr. Bruce Jefferies of the Conservation Coaches Network

The six-day training will familiarise participants with the Miradi software, an adaptive management software for conservation projects that supports the Open Standards process. To make the training more meaningful, participants will be entering information on current or future national conservation projects into the Miradi programme to get a taste of the software's utility and functionality.

Participants from the Cook Islands, Nauru, Tonga and Tuvalu are the main beneficiaries of the training.

Open Standards Participants hard at workLearning about Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation

This training is an integral part of developing conservation efforts in Nauru and allowing different agencies to join in will be very beneficial in terms of coordinating those efforts. Overall, the Nauru team participating in this training are learning a tremendous amount about the open standards process and how we can apply this at the national level," said Mr. Berrick Dowiyogo of Nauru.

We have done this sort of thing before, like having a plan, determining the project team, project scope and targets. However, we lack the means of documenting the steps taken to get to where we are. This training will help and remind us that documenting steps taken is a requirement. The Miradi software would also be great to learn and use for our conservation planning work in the Cook Islands," mentioned Ms. Mii Matamaki of the Cook Islands.

"As a project director, managing the implementation of many environmental projects, I have always hoped to have a one-stop shop programme where I could design, manage and monitor projects. I believe Miradi is just the programme that would assist our work to be more effective, and I hope to share the skills to my co-workers in Tonga" said Ms. Lupe Matoto Director of Environment for the Kingdom of Tonga.

"This training will be very useful in building my capacity and providing me with further ideas to improve on the implementation of our upcoming ridge to reef project" said Mr. Mataio Tekinene, Director of Environment for Tuvalu.

The training will wrap up on March 23 and is a key regional capacity building activity of the GEFPAS Integrated Island Biodiversity (IIB) project executed by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) based in Apia, Samoa.
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