Australia’s $22.9 million help to fight region’s environmental challenges

The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (S.P.R.E.P.) has been reassured support by the Australian government with the signing of a three-year agreement. 

The agreement promises A$12 million (T$22.9m) assistance towards S.P.R.E.P., which becomes effective in July 2018. 

Australia’s High Commissioner to Samoa, Sara Moriarty and S.P.R.E.P. Director General, Leota Kosi Latu signed the agreement at the S.P.R.E.P. headquarters, Vailima yesterday.

This agreement is an extension of Australia’s A$18.25 million (T$34.9m) multiyear grant arrangement with S.P.R.E.P. in 2013. 

Ms. Moriarty believes in strengthening partnership with S.P.R.E.P. in fighting climate change in the Pacific region.

“The reason Australia has been such a strong firm and partner of S.P.R.E.P. is because Australia has a strong commitment to the South Pacific and S.P.R.E.P. as one of the regional organisation that is headquartered here in Samoa.”

“So it is a demonstration of a commitment both to S.P.R.E.P., to regionalism, regional organization and climate change that includes environmental issues as well.”

“Climate change is something that the Australia Government recognises is of great concern to the Pacific. We are also being affected by climate change in Australia,” she said.

“The fact that the Pacific Islands are so vulnerable to climate change is definitely the underpinning reason Australia is demonstrating its commitment through this $12 million worth of funding.”

“This is a demonstration that we have a strong partnership with the Pacific. We know that the Pacific Island states are highly vulnerable and we are here to be a strong firm partner.”

The agreement hopes to bring change and guarantee S.P.R.E.P. that funding will be available to carry out the different tasks they have created.

“So from 2013 to 2018 we provided multiyear funding, which provides core funding to S.P.R.E.P., so it is not just for specific projects but it is a core funding that means S.P.R.E.P. can allocate their funds to those particular areas that needs funding.”

“It will provide S.P.R.E.P. with that predictability and it knows that in the next three years, it will definitely have that funding, so we would not have to keep worrying of where that money is going to come from,” Ms. Moriarty said.

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