Biodiversity & Ecosystem Management Headlines

USP becomes the ninth member of the Pacific Island Roundtable for Nature Conservation

The University of the South Pacific (USP) officially became the ninth member of the Pacific Islands Roundtable for Nature Conservation (PIRT). The PIRT Membership Agreement was signed Wednesday 30 March by PIRT Chair and Regional Director of the IUCN Oceania Regional Office, Taholo Kami and Vice Chancellor and President of USP, Professor Rajesh Chandra, at the conclusion of the PIRT Planning Meeting with the Heads of Organisation in Suva, Fiji.

PIRT is a coalition of partners who work together to increase effective conservation action in the Pacific Islands region. Formed in 1998 PIRT is the key coordination mechanism for the implementation of the new Framework for Nature Conservation and Protected Areas in the Pacific Islands region 2014-2020.

PIRT 1L - R:  Mr. Stuart Chape of SPREP, Professor Rajesh Chandra of USP, Mr. Taholo Kami of IUCN

Taholo Kami welcomed USP as an official PIRT member. "The partnership and collaboration with USP will further advance PIRT's member commitment to promote, facilitate and monitor progress regarding the new Framework for Nature Conservation and Protected Areas in the Pacific islands region 2014-2020 and the Principles for Nature Conservation in the region."

Mr Kami added, "With the participation of each of our conservation partners in the region under the Roundtable, the challenge now is to step up from where we are, not just in conservation but how we link conservation with sustainable development."

Professor Rajesh Chandra agreed that "there is a fair degree of excitement and a good understanding of the fact that we all need to collaborate for the good of the region. The University is very pleased to sign this Agreement. USP accepts the principle behind the Agreement and we would hope that what we do and what we have been doing is consonant with PIRT."

Further adding, "USP is committed to working as part of the broader team."

PIRT2 Lake Lanotoo Upolu Samoa  S. ChapeLake Lanoto'o, a Protected Area in Samoa, photo courtesty of Stuart Chape

The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) is pleased to see the membership of the PIRT growing and welcomes others who are interested to contact them to learn more about The Roundtable and its work.

"With the challenges facing our biodiversity, it is good to see this mechanism that brings partners together working for the one common goal, is thriving and growing," said Mr. Stuart Chape the Director of the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Management Division at SPREP.

Roundtable Members who have signed the PIRT Membership Agreement and are official members are: Conservation International (CI), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Society for Conservation Biology Oceania (SCBO), SeaWeb, Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Wildlife Conservation Society of Fiji (WCS) World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the newest member; the University of the South Pacific (USP).

The PIRT Planning Meeting with the Heads of Organisation is in preparation for the 19th PIRT Annual Meeting to be held in Fiji in July - IUCN/SPREP

For more information please email pirtsecretariat@sprep.org
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