Special tribute paid to David Sheppard at the 26th SPREP Meeting today

24 September, 2015, Apia, Samoa, 26SM - There was a special moment in the 26th SPREP Meeting of Officials today when the room came together to pay tribute to Mr. David Sheppard, the Director-General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP). His six year term comes to an end in December this year.

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L - R Mr David Sheppard with his gift presented to him from the 26th SPREP Meeting of Officials,
H.E Jackie Frizelle, Mr. Kosi Latu

Her Excellency Jackie Frizelle, the New Zealand High Commissioner to Samoa, also the Chair of the 26th SPREP Meeting made the following statement before a standing ovation by over 100 delegates and staff attending the Meeting.
 
"You would not recognise the SPREP you see today from the one that David took over six years ago.  He saved SPREP from a near death experience and has rebuilt it with the support of his staff and management and team.

SREP has grown, it is stronger, it is connected - it is proud and credible.

It's an organisation that knows where it is going, knows what to do and has the capacity to do it.

His inclusive, open approach to staff and a willingness to listen and delegate has been a major factor.

He has special qualities such as networking and forming partnerships, the excellent performance of SPREP at the UN SIDS Conference in Apia last year with David at the helm, is testament to that.

He is visionary, ambitious, energetic, courageous and passionate.

His sharp focus and efficient delivery of outcomes important to countries and territories has reestablished SPREP's regional and international reputation as a serious and competent actor.

He cares about his staff, while setting a very high standard focusing clearly on outcome and spending time with his staff and working as a team.

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Something that members may not know is that David is a member of the SPREP Paddling team, and as a team they participated in the paddling race from Upolu to Savaii, working together - both steering, navigating and being part of the crew in choppy waters. It is no surprise to know that David's team won!

David is leaving SPREP in great heart with a strong foundation for the future, given the big challenges lying ahead to support members in climate change and other environmental challenges.

David is the epitome of a servant – leader – he is very hardworking and he deserves a rest, please show him our appreciation for all that he has done."

Mr David Sheppard began his term at the Director-General of SPREP in October 2009 and ends in December this year. It was announced at the SPREP Meeting yesterday that Mr. Kosi Latu is the incoming Director-General to start in January, 2016.

The Twenty-Sixth SPREP Meeting of Officials is held at the Tanoa, Tusitala Hotel in Apia from 22 – 24 September, 2015.

The 21 Pacific island countries and territories that are members of SPREP are: American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Wallis and Futuna.

The 5 Metropolitan members of SPREP are: Australia, France, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States of America.
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