A three year funding arrangement has been cemented between the government of New Zealand and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (S.P.R.E.P).
The multi-million dollar arrangement will help strengthen the regional environment organisation to provide support to Pacific island member countries in addressing climate change and other environmental challenges.
One of the key items on the agenda for S.P.R.E.P and its members this year is the formation of the new Strategic Plan that will guide the organisation in how it supports the Pacific islands.
“We are very appreciative of New Zealand for having the confidence in the work we do and helping us to continue this,” said the Director General of S.P.R.E.P, Leota Kosi Latu.
“We are interested in real practical results for our members and this kind of multi-year support from New Zealand helps us to improve the service we provide in our region.”
New Zealand High Commissioner to Samoa, Jackie Frizelle, said her country is excited to help as it benefits the Pacific region. “We already have in place a very strong partnership with S.P.R.E.P and look forward to seeing this grow and flourish for the benefit of the Pacific region,” she said.
New Zealand and S.P.R.E.P work together to implement numerous programmes of work throughout the region.
The New Zealand Meteorological Service and the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (N.I.W.A) are key partners of the Pacific Met Desk based at S.P. R.E.P who work closely together in a range of Met and Climate Change activities that service the Pacific island members.
The Pacific Partnership on Ocean Acidification involving N.I.W.A that was signed off last year will see work in selected island countries to help address this issue and, more recently S.P.R.E.P signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding with Victoria University in Wellington – the very first between S.P.R.E.P and a New Zealand Tertiary Institute.
The three year partnership is from 2016 to 2018 to a maximum funding amount of just under NZ$4.6 million.