The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (S.P.R.E.P.) held their annual open day its headquarters in Vailima yesterday.
It was also a special event because this year marks the 25th anniversary of the regional organization.
“Today (yesterday), we want to take that service to our people on step further by nurturing our children and the future leaders of our world.”
“You are our future, and whatever path you choose will make a huge difference. We want to make sure you know that our environment is worth protecting as you all travel down your different paths,” S.P.R.E.P’s Acting Director General, Roger Cornforth said to the students and teachers from five invited schools that gathered.
Mr. Cornforth said our Pacific Islands, and many places around the world are seeing the impacts of climate change, pollution, deforestation, loss of wildfire and natural habitats, the decline of coral reefs, lagoons and more.
“S.P.R.E.P. is one of many organizations that fights to protect our environment, and among you are future ‘Spreppies’. We want you to know that you can work here one day too.”
“It has been 25 years since S.P.R.E.P. was established in Samoa, and it has been a wonderful 25 years. We have done so much work in the Pacific, but we still have much work left to do, and the Pacific needs your help to make that happen.”
“If even just one of you left today (yesterday) inspired to become an environmentalist, we will have succeeded.”
“And before you ask, an environmentalist is not just some weird person who talks about birds, fish and plants all the time.”
“An environmentalist in the Pacific is someone who cares for their communities now and in the future, who recognises that life in our villages and nations depend on God’s bounty that we have been entrusted with, and seeks to ensure that each generation hands on that same bounty to the next,” Mr. Cornforth said.