|L - R David Sheppard SPREP, Dr Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, SCBD|
17 October 2012, CBD COP 11, Hyderabad, India - Nature conservation efforts in the Pacific were highlighted during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD).
The signing took place during a special Island life event coordinated by the Global Island Partnership (GLISPA) that brought together different Ministers and organisations that work in Islands, to pledge biodiversity commitments.
Setting the scene for the night was the official signing of the Memorandum of Understanding.
“There is a saying in this region – if you want to go fast you go alone, if you want to go far you go together. SPREP wants to go far in support of Pacific Island countries. This is why we are so delighted to be signing this MoU with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity tonight,” said Mr. David Sheppard, the Director-General of SPREP.
“Over the last few years we have been increasing working with the CBD Secretariat on issues such as National Biodiversity Strategic Action Plans, Access and Benefit Sharing, and Programmes of Work on Protected Areas and Island Biodiversity. In the short term we look forward to working with the SCBD on the key event for the region over the next year – the 9th Pacific Island Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas, which will be held in Fiji in November next year.”
The MoU identifies key priority areas for the Pacific region over the next two years with plans for both organisations to work together to assist the region. The signing commits SPREP to taking this partnership to the next level and to working for the long term to address biodiversity loss in the Pacific.
“SPREP is an exemplary partner of the SCBD, and it is with great pleasure that I sign a reiteration of our commitment to work together for the Strategic Plan and the Aichi targets. The document signed lists an impressive range of joint activities, in capacity building and planning, in coordination and agenda setting, across many if not most of the programmes of work and targets of our Convention,” said Dr. Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, the Executive Secretary of the CBD.
“I invite all of you to step in and support our joint activities, and I invite all regions to learn from lessons and the track record of close cooperation we've built over the years with SPREP. The MOU is just paper, but in this case it is a symbol of ongoing and future work. I look forward to action with SPREP - the word's islands need our fullest collaboration.”