S.P.R.E.P's Board meeting goes virtual

The Executive Board of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (S.P.R.E.P.) will hold its second virtual meeting this week.

The Executive Board meeting replaces the larger S.P.R.E.P Meeting of Officials after members of the regional organisation decided in 2016 to make the conference biennial and held in alternate years.

Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, this year's meeting will be held virtually as the pandemic has forced most countries in the region to close their borders to non-residents, ultimately halting air travel across the region.

S.P.R.E.P Director-General, Leota Kosi Latu, said in the statement that despite the Pacific-wide border closures due to COVID-19, the organisation’s work will continue with its members.

"As such, we are forging ahead with our second E.B.M. as Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme’s most important meeting of the year," he said.

The S.P.R.E.P Executive Board comprises eight members which includes the Troika of past and present chairpersons of the S.P.R.E.P. Meeting with Dr. Melchior Mataki of the Solomon Islands as the incoming Chair, Peseta Noumea Simi of Samoa as the outgoing Chair, and Lucy Bogari of Papua New Guinea as the past Chair.

According to the statement, the remaining members of the Executive Board represent the three sub-regions of regional organisation’s 26 Member countries: Engel Raygadas of French Polynesia as the Polynesian rep, Dr Austin Shelton of Guam as the Micronesian rep, and Jimmy Naouna of New Caledonia as the Melanesian rep with Metropolitan Members of S.P.R.E.P represented by Llewellyn Roberts of New Zealand.

The virtual E.B.M will be held from 3 – 4 September and will be a closed meeting. 

The 2019 S.P.R.E.P. Annual Report will also be tabled at the meeting, which outlines the highlights of the Secretariat’s work in the region over the past year.

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