Nominations for environmental award closes

The call for applications for the 2nd Pacific Islands Environment Leadership Awards has closed with the winners to be notified at the end of the month.

The awards will be given for outstanding achievement in thematic areas, relating to environmental sustainability in the 21 Pacific island nations and territories who are part of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environmental Programme (S.P.R.E.P.).

Samoa is a member of the S.P.R.E.P. family and also plays host to the regional environment organisation.

It has been at the forefront of a number of environmental programs and events towards the end last year which included the hosting of the Pacific Week of Agriculture September 30 to October 4 and the national environment week in November hosted by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (M.N.R.E.).

The Pacific Islands Environment Leadership Awards recognise, promote and celebrate outstanding contributions of individuals, communities, non-governmental organisations, private enterprises and countries and territories towards achieving an environmentally sustainable and resilient Pacific.

Past winners have included the Cook Island Voyaging Society President Ian Karika, the Nguna-Pele Marine and Land Protected Area Network in Vanuatu, and His Excellency President of Palau, Tommy Remengesau Jr.  

The awards will be presented at the 10th Annual Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas at the Tjibaou Cultural Centre in Noumea, New Caledonia from April 19-24, prior to the end of the United Nations Decade for Biodiversity 2011-2020.

This year’s event is made possible by the Pacific Island Roundtable for Nature Conservation, S.P.R.E.P. and the New Caledonia government.

The conference will explore themes such as people and nature conservation action, economic development and biodiversity conservation.

As well as the safeguarding of priority sites and cultural heritage, species and genetic diversity and threats to biodiversity and the monitoring, governing and financing nature conservation action

This year’s conference wishes to address many outcomes regarding capacity building, knowledge management and learning related to biodiversity conservation, investigating and securing sustainable funding initiatives, and creating a framework for robust governance around nature conservation work.

Around 800 participants from a very wide range of stakeholder groups attended their latest conference in Fiji including Pacific island governments, intergovernmental organisations, NGOs, donors, development partners, community groups, youth groups and interested individuals.

The regional conservation conference that has met on average every 5 years since 1975 and has become the principal conference for government agencies, regional organisations, (community and NGO), donor agencies and experts concerned with conservation science and practice in the Pacific.

The conference is described as a key opportunity to set a Pacific based and initiated agenda for Pacific conservation for the next four – seven years.

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