Launch of Protect Pacific Whales Facebook Competition to celebrate World Biodiversity Day

In celebration of World Biodiversity Day on 22 May, the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) in partnership with Digicel is launching a Facebook competition as part of the Protect Pacific Whales – Ocean Voyagers Campaign.

The competition calls for residents of SPREP's island member countries and territories to submit either an original artwork or photograph inspired by the Pacific whales in order to enter. These submissions will then be open to public voting through 'liking' the entry they best prefer. The winner will be selected based on the most popular entry. 

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"Through the Protect Pacific Whales Campaign, we aim to work together with everyone across our region to strengthen our whale conservation efforts and celebrate these magnificent creatures," said Ms. Nanette Woonton of the Communications and Outreach Unit of SPREP.

"We are grateful for the support of Digicel with this activity and we look forward to seeing some great entries that will raise the visual awareness of our Pacific whales."

The humpback whale recovery is one of the most encouraging conservation success stories, from being close to extinction with as few as 200 when whale hunting ended in 1978 to the current population of around 3,000 whales in our region.

Many whales are now confronted with a range of new problems such as ocean acidification and marine pollution. Through the Protect Pacific Whales Campaign it aims to promote the conservation of whales and our oceans to bring about more success stories like that of the humpback whale. The conservation of these key species contributes towards Aichi Biodiversity Target 12.

The Aichi Biodiversity Targets, a set of 20 global targets established in 2010 to achieve by the year 2020 aims to halt the loss of biodiversity. In the Pacific island region these goals are achieved through the implementation of priorities in the National Biodiversity Strategic Plans and the Framework for Nature Conservation and Protect Areas in the Pacific Islands Region 2014 – 2020.

"Pacific whales are also part of our precious biodiversity and to commemorate and celebrate this World Biodiversity Day – we call on as many people as possible to explore their creativity and submit an entry," said Ms. Easter Galuvao, SPREP's Biodiversity Adviser.

"We also call upon our fellow Pacific islanders to play a key role in protecting all forms of our island biodiversity which supports our livelihoods. We can make a difference, together."

Entries for the competition open today and close on 22 June, 2016 with voting to commence from 23 June until 16 July. Entries will also be used for non-commercial, educational purposes to help strengthen the Campaign.

Interested participants are encouraged to submit their entries for the competition for a chance to win one of three Alcatel Pixi 3 smartphones from Digicel as well as other fantastic prizes provided by SPREP and partners.
To learn more about the Protect Pacific Whales – Ocean Voyagers Campaign please visit http://www.sprep.org/yearofthewhale

To learn more about the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the objectives of the Framework for Nature Conservation and Protect Areas in the Pacific Islands Region 2014 – 2020 please visit: http://www.sprep.org/attachments/Publications/BEM/linkages.pdf

For more information please visit the SPREP Facebook page: www.facebook.com/SPREP.PEIN/

SPREP's island member countries and territories are: American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Kiribati, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna. 

 

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