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News and Updates


Pacific Islands Roundtable for Nature Conservation to help countries to implement Voluntary Commitments made at the United Nations Ocean Conference
22nd of August 2017, Honiara, Solomon Islands

Mr. Latu Hon. Manetoali Dr Mataki Mr. Smith. SPREP
 Left to right: Director General of SPREP – Kosi Latu; Solomon Islands Minister of Environment, Hon. Manetoali; Dr Melchior Mataki, Ministry of Environment Solomon Islands; Regional Director of IUCN Oceania –Mr. Mason Smith.

 
The theme of this year’s Pacific Islands Roundtable for Nature Conservation (PIRT) meeting was “Oceans at a tipping point – From global commitments to regional actions”. The opening day (21 August) focused on oceans and the voluntary commitments made by countries at the United Nations Ocean Conference (UNOC), held in June in New York where Leaders from around the world met to discuss Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources”. 

PIRT is a coordinating mechanism for Pacific nature conservation. By joining forces to conserve ocean ecosystems, PIRT members can assist countries to meet their goals for ocean management.

 “The Pacific Islands played a leading role at UNOC, and we must seize this opportunity to continue leading and inspiring the world,” Ms. Azusa Kubota, UNDP Country Manager in the Solomon Islands said. “You all know this and I don’t need to be convincing you about the importance of the ocean to our livelihoods and everything we do. SDG 14 is absolutely essential to all development in the Pacific context and links to all SDGs.“ 

Over 1300 voluntary commitments were made at the UNOC, many of them by Pacific island countries, organizations and the private sector. The PIRT meeting focused on 65 commitments made by Pacific Island countries, and in particular the 26 commitments that currently have no PIRT partners. Participants discussed how PIRT members can support these countries to implement their commitments.  

"We have to initiate action to implement the commitments that were made at the United Nations Ocean Conference and we see it as crucial to identify where Pacific countries need help and how we can assist.” said Mr. Mason Smith, Chair of PIRT. “We have developed a list of actions to demonstrate how PIRT members can assist countries now or in the future, and we will aim to review this list in 12 months at the next PIRT Annual Meeting.”

Dr. Melchior Mataki, incoming Permanent Secretary for the Environment, Solomon Islands, focused his key note address on SDG 14, and the necessity for community engagement.  “Pacific people are stewards of the largest ocean with a right, to sustainably and equitably benefit from its resources and amenities” he said. He stressed that “conservation without development is sterile, and likewise development without conservation is unsustainable. Countries and communities of this region will need to make informed decisions and choices. Integration, interconnectivity, collaboration and partnerships are foundational to bring success in addressing environmental and development issues.”

Participants noted that the Pacific Islands currently have an unprecedented influence on Oceans and Climate Change because Fiji is co-chair of both United Nations Ocean Conference and the United Nations Framework on Climate Change Conference of Parties 23, which will be held in Bonn, Germany this year in November.  

More information about ocean management can be accessed through the briefs developed by UN Environment and SPREP: bit.ly/2rwYGKY

The Pacific Islands Round Table for Nature Conservation (PIRT) is a coalition of nature conservation and development organisations, governments, inter-governmental agencies, donor agencies and community groups created to increase effective conservation action in the Pacific Islands Region. 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 which was adopted at the 9th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas and was endorsed at the 25th Annual SPREP Meeting in September 2014. Currently, IUCN is the Chair and SPREP is the Secretariat of PIRT.

For more information, contact pirtsecretariat@sprep.org

Image: Left to right: Director General of SPREP – Kosi Latu; Solomon Islands Minister of Environment, Hon. Manetoali; Dr Melchior Mataki, Ministry of Environment Solomon Islands; Regional Director of IUCN Oceania – Mr. Mason Smith. Photo: SPREP


Pacific Islands Roundtable for Nature Conservation opens today in Honiara, Solomon Islands
21st August 2017

 Group Picture - PIRT SPREP

The 20th session of the Pacific Islands Roundtable (PIRT) for Nature Conservation officially opened this morning in Honiara, Solomon Islands with a theme of “Oceans at a tipping point –from global commitments to regional actions

In welcoming Pacific delegates to the event, Solomon Islands’ Minister of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management (MECDM), Honourable Samuel Manetoali reiterated the message of improved partnerships for nature conservation. 

“Managing our ocean resources sustainably under the growing social and economic pressures – local and global – is a massive challenge, and we know that this can only be achieved in partnership with other Pacific island countries and organisations such as those with PIRT membership.”

“The Solomon Islands Government greatly values its relationship and association with the Roundtable members, both national and international NGOs.”

Hon. Minister Manetoali also highlighted that the Solomon Islands government has put forward five voluntary commitments at the UN Ocean Conference in New York in June 2017 that cover priority issues in marine pollution, fisheries management, governance, and resource management.

 “We look forward to assisting this meeting, to draft partnerships across the region to target the commitments we all have made toward the UN SDG 14 on Life below Water.”

Commenting on support to Pacific Island countries in regards to voluntary commitments, PIRT Chair Mr. Mason Smith of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) stated that many Pacific Island countries have made voluntary commitments and no doubt PIRT members will play a key role in assisting member countries to achieve these commitments through durable and sustainable partnerships.

Director General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) Mr. Kosi Latu called for combined efforts to seize the opportunities that are presented to the Pacific as the world takes an ever greater interest in the region.

 “We have developed a strong working relationship amongst ourselves at PIRT, and we all have further extensive networks. Now, more than ever, we need to be active in promoting sustainable development hand in hand with protection of our physical and cultural environment and our ocean.”

The Pacific Islands Round Table for Nature Conservation (PIRT) is a coalition of nature conservation and development organisations, governments, inter-governmental agencies, donor agencies, and community groups created to increase effective conservation action in the Pacific Islands Region. 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 which was adopted at the 9th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas and was endorsed at the 25th Annual SPREP Meeting in September 2014. Currently, IUCN is the Chair and SPREP is the Secretariat of PIRT.

For more information, contact: pirtsecretariat@sprep.org

Image: 20th Pacific Islands Roundtable for Nature Conservation attendees. Photo: SPREP

 
20 years of the Pacific Islands Roundtable

The Pacific Islands Roundtable for Nature Conservation and Protected Areas (PIRT) and its Members are celebrating twenty years of efforts to conserve Pacific Island environments and resources. This year’s meeting will be held from 21 to 22 August in Honiara, Solomon Islands. PIRT was established in 1998 at the request of Pacific island countries and territories which was voiced at the 6th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas in 1997.   PIRT enables those organisations working on nature conservation in the Pacific to improve their collaboration and coordination towards effective conservation action.

“PIRT brings together a wide range of people including academics, NGOs, community groups, government officials, practitioners and agencies working on nature conservation in our region. This meeting is our chance to connect, learn about current and planned activities, and plan cooperative actions,” explains Kosi Latu, PIRT Secretariat and General Director of SPREP. “The theme for this year’s annual meeting is ‘Oceans at the tipping point: from global commitments to local actions’, and looks to identify how PIRT members may assist Pacific island countries and territories to progress their global commitments.” continues Mr. Latu.

PIRT provides a framework and drives action through its working groups, which meet yearly on more specific topics and then report back to the annual meeting. The four main working groups are the Pacific Invasive Partnership, the Protected Areas Working Group, the Species Working Group and the Pacific Network for Environmental Law. 

In connection with PIRT is the Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas which has been held every few years since 1975. At this conference government agencies, NGOs, community based organisations, donor agencies and expatriates concerned with conservation science and practice in the Pacific Islands region can meet to discuss the agenda for the next few years.

“This conference provides an excellent place for us to exchange knowledge, to share achievements and to talk about the way forward in the Pacific.  Discussions about the next Conference planned for 2020 will be on the agenda at this PIRT Annual Meeting,” states Mr. Latu.

PIRT was established in 1997, and up to today, 11 organisations have signed the Membership Agreement: Conservation International (CI), the 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 (WCS) of Fiji, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), The University of the South Pacific (USP), Birdlife International and the Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.  

The Pacific Islands Round Table for Nature Conservation (PIRT) is a coalition of nature conservation and development organisations, governments, inter-governmental agencies, donor agencies and community groups created to increase effective conservation action in the Pacific Islands Region. 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 which was adopted at the 9th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas and was subsequently endorsed at the 25th Annual SPREP Meeting in September 2014. Currently, IUCN is the Chair and SPREP is the Secretariat of PIRT.

For more information, contact pirtsecretariat@sprep.org





19th PIRT Annaual Meeting brings Mana to teh table

Download 19th PIRT Annual Meeting Draft Meeting Outcomes 28th July 2016

Wielding the power of ‘Mana’ for effective biodiversity management in the Pacific islands was encouraged at the 19th Pacific Islands Roundtable for Nature Conservation Annual Meeting.

‘Mana’, a term commonly used in the Pacific islands is best described as quality or a characteristic that entails wisdom, integrity and commands respect.

The two day annual meeting of PIRT brought together over 50 delegates from across the Pacific region to discuss around the theme “Mainstreaming biodiversity: Sustaining Pacific people and their livelihoods.’

“There are substantial challenges in the Pacific region when it comes to nature conservation, through mainstreaming biodiversity, this tool can address issues such as climate change,” said Mr Taholo Kami, the PIRT Chair and Director of International Union for Oceania Region (IUCN ORO).


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Photo|SPREP 2016: Participants of the 19th Pacific Islands Roundtable for Nature Conservation Annual Meeting at the Convention Center of Tanoa International Hotel, Nadi, Fiji, 14th -15th July.

 
The Roundtable 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.

It is a coalition of nature conservation and development organisations, governments, inter-governmental organisations, donor agencies and community groups created to increase effective conservation in the Pacific Islands region.


 “PIRT plays a crucial role in bringing together governments, communities, regional partners, conservation organisations and donors to foster partnerships,” said Mr. Kosi Latu, the Director General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).

 Further adding that, “This will be critical in helping to mainstream biodiversity and engaging different sectors.”

 The 19th Annual Meeting of the Pacific Islands Roundtable for Nature Conservation was opened on 15 July by Fiji’s Permanent Secretary of Environment, Mr. Joshua Wycliffe. He congratulated PIRT for focusing on mainstreaming biodiversity, adding further that “This issue is close to our hearts, it impacts on the livelihoods of the Pacific people. It is only through strategic approaches and pragmatic actions that we can ensure the multi-level mainstreaming of biodiversity continues.”

Mr. Wycliffe, underlined that Fiji’s commitment on mainstreaming biodiversity as one of the first countries in the region, has put in place a Green Growth Framework which is articulated in the National Green Growth Framework (NGGF) for Fiji. He pointed out that the Framework aims at ensuring industries and businesses develop their sectors with strong environment considerations.

The discussions at the 19th PIRT Annual Meeting focused on effective approaches and practical solutions for mainstreaming biodiversity at national, sectoral, and local community levels taking into account national priorities that support sustainable development aspirations of countries in the region. The meeting reaffirmed the role of the Roundtable as a mechanism for partners to deliver targeted support and leverage funding support through projects to assist countries implement NBSAP priorities that would contribute towards the achievement of the SDGs, the Aichi Targets and the Framework for Nature Conservation and Protected Areas 2014-2020.

 
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Photo|SPREP 2016: From Left to Right: Dr. Sarat Babu Gidda, CBD, Mr. Kosi Latu, SPREP Director General, Permanent Secretary of Environment, Government of Fiji, Hon. Mr. Joshua Wycliffe and Mr. Taholo Kami, PIRT Chair/Director of IUCN ORO, at the 19th PIRT Annual Meeting, Nadi, Fiji.

Country representatives from Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Tuvalu, local community leaders, academics and conservationists from around the region deliberated on the year ahead, specifying practical actions for ensuring the sustainable and equitable management of natural resources in the Pacific island region.

The 19th PIRT Annual Meeting was held from 14-15 July, 2016 in Nadi, Fiji.
For further information please contact pirtsecretariat@sprep.org

 


Island biodiversity to benefit from ongoing commitment from Pacific organisations

The Pacific Islands Roundtable for Nature Conservation grew in membership as Birdlife International and the Deutsche Gesellschaft fÜr Internationale Zusammenarbeit GIZ (GmbH) formalised their commitment to the Framework for Nature Conservation in the Pacific Islands Region 2014-2020 and the Principles and Code of Conduct outlined in the Framework. With this signing, the official PIRT Members now stands at eleven.

Birdlife International helps implement conservation projects across the Pacific region, with a particular focus on restoring oceanic islands to their former glory by removing invasive species.

The Deutsche Gesellschaft fÜr Internationale Zusammenarbeit GIZ (GmbH) has been working in the Pacific for 35 years, with focal areas being climate protection through forest conservation in the Pacific Islands.

“The support of these organisations for nature conservation work across the Pacific islands region has brought about a positive impact for our environment, we are heartened by their signing of the PIRT agreement and we look forward to continued work with them,” said Taholo Kami, PIRT Chair.

The signing took place during the 19th Annual Meeting of the Pacific Islands Roundtable in Nadi Fiji on July 15, 2016.

 
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Photo|SPREP 2016: From Left to Right: Mr. Donald Stewart, Director Birdlife International, Mr. Taholo Kami, PIRT Chair/Director IUCN ORO, Mr. Kosi Latu, SPREP Director General and Dr. Wulf Killmann, Programme Director, GIZ, after the signing of the PIRT Membership Agreement.

Please click this link to download presentations at the 19th PIRT Annual Meeting.




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.
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L - 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. Chape
Lake 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, 2016.

To download full report, click here

For more information please email pirtsecretariat@sprep.org

September, 2015 Highlight: PIRT Side Event
 at the 26th Annual SPREP Meeting
23 September, 2015, Apia, Samoa, 26SM Side Event Update - The 26th Annual SPREP Meeting marks an important occasion for the Pacific Islands Roundtable for Nature Conservation (PIRT) as they officially welcomed Conservation International (CI) as the Eighth Member of the Roundtable to sign the PIRT Membership Agreement.

The Pacific Islands Rountable for Nature Conservation (PIRT) Side Event with the title of "Size Matters: Lessons Learnt In Going To Scale In Pacific Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)" turned out to be a great success. With more than sixty people as witness in the audience, the PIRT Membership Agreement was signed by Conservation International (CI) and the PIRT Chair. 
 


Leilani and Stuart
Photo|SPREP   
Figure 1: Mr. Stuart Chape, SPREP and Mrs. Leilani Duffy Iosefa, CI signing the PIRT Membership Agreement.

Mrs. Leilani Duffy Iosefa signed the PIRT Membership Agreement on behalf of CI witnessed by Mr. Stuart Chape, representing PIRT Secretariat.

The signing of the Agreement was an integral part of the PIRT Side Event showcasing the theme of "Size Matters! Lessons learnt in going to scale in Pacific Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)", the PIRT Side Event; an initiative of the Protected Areas Working Group (PAWG) of the Roundtable and co-organised by both the PIRT Secretariat, Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and Conservation International, had an overwhelming response.

As Mr. Schannel van Dijken, Senior Marine Manager of CI explained - "In the last 40 years since 1975 when the Australian Great Barrier Reef Marine Park was created, the Pacific has lead the world in creating Large Scale Marine Protected Areas, realizing the importance of managing marine areas at scale".

He outlined and presented the achievements and lessons of the Phoenix Islands Protected Area in Kiribati, which grew in protection from 12000 km2 in 2006 to a full closure of it 408,250 km2 area, on December 31, 2014 constituting over 11% of Kiribati's total Exclusive Economic Zone. The New Caledonia Marine Protected Area established in April 2014 is 1.4 million km2 shared lessons learnt from their MPA presented by Ms. Anne-Claire Goarant of New Caledonia, "one of the factors of the success of this was the we started small and grew with each achievement and we also ensured that consultation was a key factor along every step of the way."

Joseph Brider
Photo|SPREP   
Figure 2: Mr. Joseph Brider, Director, Cook Islands National Environment Service presenting on the Marae Moana.

Also featured during the side event was the Marae Moana, the Cook Islands Marine Park which is in the process of being established for the Southern Cook Islands. The Marae Moana is approximately 1 million km2 and was announced in 2012. Mr. Joseph Brider of Cook Islands explained how for them, they were starting small with plans to grow bigger.

"One of the biggest components in establishing the Marae Moana was the consultation with many audiences given that the different islands in the Cook Islands implemented different management methods for their ocean," said Mr. Brider.

The Twenty-Sixth SPREP Meeting of Officials is held at the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel in Apia from 22 to 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.


Click Links Below to Download Presentations at PIRT Side Event by:

Joseph Brider, Cook Islands

Anne Calire Goarant, New Caledonia

Schannel van Dijken, Samoa

 

New Team Member on board the Pacific Islands Roundtable for Nature Conservation (PIRT)
Joining the PIRT Team is the new Coordinator of the Roundtable, Payal Maharaj of Fiji Islands. 

 

 

2015 Highlight: 18th PIRT Annual Meeting (9-10th July)

Official Opening

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Photo|SPREP   
Figure 4: Taholo Kami, PIRT Chair and Director of IUCN ORO, providing official welcome at the 18th Annual PIRT MEETING 

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Photo|SPREP   
Figure 5: Elizabeth Erasito, Keynote Speaker from the National Trust of the Fiji Islands, delivering her remarkable keynote speech

Download - Keynote Address

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Photo|SPREP   
Figure 6: Stuart Chape, PIRT Secretariat and Director of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Management (BEM), SPREP, emphasizing on the vision and objectives of PIRT


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Photo|SPREP   
Figure 7: Organisations signing the PIRT Membership Agreement. From left to right: TNC, WWF Pacific, IUCN ORO, SPREP, WCS, Society for Conservation Biology (Oceania) Inc and SeaWeb



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Photo|IUCN                                             
Figure 8: Participants of the 18th Annual PIRT MEETING


18th Annual PIRT MEETING media release

Click here to read the meeting media release












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