Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Pacific island nations highlight their unity at global biodiversity conference

07 October 2014, Pyeongchang Korea, CBD COP12 - The Pacific island nations have showcased their unity at the 12th Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, sharing with over 190 governments the joint framework on nature conservation and protected areas.

Recently endorsed at the 25th Annual Meeting of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme and highlighted during the Third UN International Conference on Small Islands Developing States, the Framework for Nature Conservation and Protected Areas in the Pacific Islands region 2014 - 2020 is being celebrated yet again at the international arena.

"This is a significant milestone achievement for the Pacific Islands region mainly because the new Framework is closely aligned to the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the National Biodiversity Strategic Action Plans," said Ms. Atelaite Matoto, Director for Environment of Tonga, who made a statement at the CBD COP 12.

"This is probably the first for any sub-region and the next six  6 years will be an exciting one for us as we embark on this journey to implement our commitments through this Framework.  We cannot work alone on this journey thus the need for us to work together."

Ms. Atelaite Matoto, Tonga

The regional framework was developed with the contribution and input of over 800 stakeholders from throughout the Pacific islands region at a conference hosted by Fiji in December last year and was raised during a global discussion on strengthening support to parties to meet the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Concerns have been raised by the fast rates of loss of biodiversity and the slow pace at which actions are happening to help address this.  Actions that are to be carried out to meet the global agreement of 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

To help the Pacific islands meet the Aichi BiodiversityTargets, the regional framework document helps encourage an integrated approach, coordinating work at biodiversity at national and regional level in the Pacific islands in partnership with stakeholders.

"Tonga extends an invitation to governments, development partners, organisations and institutions who wish to partner and collaborate with us," said Ms. Matoto.

"This includes our regional organisations such as the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) to ensure the successful implementation of the Framework and National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans which supports the achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets in the Pacific Islands region."

The Framework for Nature Conservation and Protected Areas in the Pacific Islands region 2014 - 2020  will be shared at the CBD COP 12 during a special Pacific islands event.

14 Pacific island countries are party to the Convention on Biological Diversity with Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Palau, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Tuvalu currently in Korea attending the CBD COP12 from 6 - 17 October, 2014.  Soon to arrive are the Federated States of Micronesia, Samoa, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea.

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