The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) celebrated their respective anniversaries at the welcoming event for the Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management (BIOPAMA) programme regional inception workshop this week with a cake cutting ceremony at the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel.
Speaking at the event, Director General SPREP Kosi Latu recognised the 25 years of SPREP’s operation in the Pacific region as an independent regional organisation. “We are here to commemorate 25 years of working together in protecting and improving our Pacific environment with the common goal of ensuring sustainable development for present and future generations”.
While acknowledging all the work carried out in the past 25 years, and indeed the previous 15 years when SPREP was a programme in The Pacific Community, Mr Latu noted that partnerships are essential to getting work done in the Pacific region.
“The work that we do cannot be possible without the close collaboration of our partners. And tonight, it is about partnership. IUCN has been a very important partner of SPREP and tonight is a yet another demonstration of that close collaboration” Mr Latu stated.
Sharing the same sentiments, IUCN Oceania Regional Director Mason Smith acknowledged SPREP for the significant role it played in the Pacific and highlighted a brief history of IUCN since its establishment in 1948.
“IUCN was established in a small French town, south of Paris, called Fontainebleau. IUCN is now the global authority on the status of the natural world with 10,000 volunteer scientists around the globe. The knowledge and the tools IUCN provides are critical for ensuring that human progress, economic development and nature conservation take place together” Mr Smith noted.
The BIOPAMA inception workshop will be held at the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel from 11 to 15 June including a field trip organised for Wednesday 13th June.