S.P.R.E.P. announces first woman Deputy Director-General

The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (S.P.R.E.P.) has announced the appointment of its first ever woman Deputy Director-General.

Easter Chu Shing – who is currently the Director of Environmental Monitoring and Governance at the S.P.R.E.P. – has been selected following a competitive, rigorous and transparent merit-based selection process according to a statement issued by the S.P.R.E.P.

S.P.R.E.P. Director-General, Kosi Latu, congratulated Ms Chu Shing on her appointment and the contributions she will continue to make to the organisation.

"On behalf of the Secretariat and our Members, we congratulate Easter on her new appointment as well as being the first female Deputy Director-General since its establishment,” Mr Latu said in the statement. “Easter will continue to provide a strategic leadership role as part of the senior leadership team as well as a member of the executive leadership team.”

The newly-appointed Deputy Director-General, who has a Bachelor of Arts in Geography and a Masters Degree in Environmental Studies from Victoria University in New Zealand, has been involved with numerous events across the region. 

She was at the helm of the 9th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas hosted by Fiji in 2013.  

Ms Chu Shing also played a crucial role on the S.P.R.E.P. delegation leading coordination support for Pacific Island Members at the Conferences of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. 

The new appointee, according to the S.P.R.E.P. statement, said she is looking forward to taking on the new role.

“I am deeply humbled by this new appointment and I thank our Heavenly Father for his continued grace and goodness in my journey as a civil servant. 

“I look forward to continuing serving our S.P.R.E.P. Members and our Pacific people through this new role.”

Ms Chu Shing will start in her new role in early February 2021 with the contract of the current position holder Roger Cornforth to finish at the end of January 2021. 

Mr Latu acknowledged the contribution of Mr Cornforth to the organisation, saying they appreciated the contributions he made to the various teams as well as tasks. 

“Roger has been a great team member of S.P.R.E.P. having led various teams and strategic assignments such as the Performance Implementation Plan, the Partnership Engagement and Resource Mobilisation Strategy, the Country and Territory Strategic Partnerships Frameworks Strategy, and his work on updating S.P.R.E.P. policies,” added Mr Latu.

“We thank you for your contribution to the work of S.P.R.E.P. and the service you have provided our Members.  We acknowledge and are grateful for your support over the years.”

Mr Cornforth will be returning to New Zealand having been the SPREP Deputy Director-General for the last four and a half years.

Prior to Ms Chu Shing moving to the S.P.R.E.P. Director of Environmental Monitoring and Governance position, she worked for seven years as the biodiversity advisor. She also clocked close to a decade with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Multi-Country Office in Samoa, before joining the region's leading environmental organisation. 

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