Biodiversity loss, waste management, chemicals and pollution, land use degradation, depleting coastal and marine resources are on-going concerns in the pacific that continue to threaten and undermine the long-term sustainability of the environment and natural resources. Climate change and sea level rise continue to be a serious concern particularly for low-lying atolls. Addressing these issues and concerns requires an increased and continued support, holistic approaches, concerted efforts and targeted interventions to develop capacity and implement sound environmental management policies. Developing viable plans and strengthening coordination mechanisms at national and regional levels to support sustainable development goals and aspirations of Pacific ACP countries are a priority.
The Pacific ACP countries are parties to a number of international MEAs such as the Noumea Convention and the Waigani Convention. While there is a strong support and commitment for MEAs, many countries lack the technical, financial, legal and human capacity to effectively implement and deliver on MEA commitment and obligations to sustainably manage their environment and natural resources. The Programme strengthens environmental governance mechanisms in (15) Pacific ACP countries including; Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Samoa, Timor East (Timor Leste), Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and EEB/ZMWG in the biodiversity and chemicals and waste MEAs cluster and the Noumea Convention in the Management of the Pacific large coastal areas and Oceans.
The Pacific Hub is hosted by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP). SPRED is an intergovernmental organization comprised of 14 Pacific ACP member countries, seven other Pacific island states and territories and four metropolitan countries. Its mandate is to promote regional cooperation on environmental management and conservation in the Pacific, which includes support to the member countries on the implementation of MEAs. The target beneficiaries for the Pacific Hub is primarily the Government officials from the ministries of Environment, Planning, Statistics, Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, Foreign Affairs, Customs, Justice and other relevant ministries, as well as local governments, parliamentarians, civil society organisations and the private sector.
The overall objective of the Pacific Hub is to strengthen and enhance the endogenous capacity of the 15 Pacific ACP countries to effectively implement and comply with MEAs and related commitments for an improved management of the environment and the natural resources. The Secretariat through its Strategic Plan 2017–2026 and on-going dialogue with its Members and partners has articulated priority actions and approaches to address the multitude of environmental challenges in the Pacific ACP countries.
In the areas of biodiversity and chemical and waste clusters, these priorities include:
- Strengthening capacities at SPREP and in countries in the review and development of national legislations and its enforcement
- Strengthening synergies across the Biodiversity MEAs and integration with the SDGs, S.A.M.O.A Pathway and other related international processes
- Strengthening the mainstreaming and integration of biodiversity and ecosystem services into policy and legislative frameworks of key development sectors such as the tourism sector and the agricultural sector building on work already undertaken on mainstreaming biodiversity and ecosystem services
- Improve and strengthen data collection and management to support monitoring of the state of biodiversity to support policy, planning and decision making
- Establish long term technical support in key areas such as legal drafting, environmental economics and monitoringRead more
Despite sparse populations and smaller economies, the Pacific island communities are responsible for managing ten percent of the planet’s oceans. Ninety eight percent of the area (more than 30 million square kilometres) is within the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) of the Pacific island countries and territories. Therefore, oceans remain a key priority for the Pacific economies and play a vital role in their livelihoods, cultural heritage, traditional knowledge and rich customs for the people. The Noumea Convention was launched in 1972 as Pacific region component of UNEP's Regional Seas Programme for the Protection of Natural Resources and Environment of the South Pacific Region. It has currently Twelve members, eight of which are the Pacific Island Countries. SPREP is the Secretariat of the Noumea Convention responsible for the administration and management of the convention. It provides secretariat services to meetings and conferences of the convention. The Pacific islands region has exhibited environmental leadership through a number of key commitments and actions taken to support and strengthen environment and natural resource governance through key national, sub-regional and regional policy frameworks.
The ACPMEAs Programme aims to address the accelerating degradation of the world’s oceans and coastal areas through the sustainable management and use of marine and coastal environments. In order to achieve its objective, the Programme functions in conjunction with Action Plans that have strong legal framework of a regional Convention and associated Protocols on specific problems.Read more
EEB/ZMWG is a collaboration between the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) and the Zero Mercury Working Group (ZMWG). EEB, located in Brussels, Belgium, is the largest network with over 140 environmental citizens’ organisations and more than 35 European countries. These organisations include local, national and international. Created in 1974, EEB act as a focal point for its member organizations to monitor and respond to the EU’s environmental policies. EEB is the environmental voice of European citizens, standing for environmental justice, sustainable development and participatory democracy. ZMWG is an international coalition of more than 110 public interest environmental and health non-governmental organizations from over 55 countries around the world.
The coalition was formed in 2005 by the European Environmental Bureau and the Mercury Policy Project to address global environmental challenges. ZMWG strives for zero supply, demand, and emissions of mercury from all anthropogenic sources. Its goal is to reduce mercury in the global environment to a minimum.
EEB/ZMWG is the civil society partner for the ACPMEAs Programme responsible for the provision of technical assistance to the Pacific ACP countries on the formulation of specific strategies to address mercury-added products phasing-out provisions of the Minamata Convention. It will also assist ACP countries in increasing ratification and implementation of the Minamata Convention.Read more