Pacific island people depend on their natural environment for their sustenance and livelihoods. These vital resources and ecosystems are under ever-increasing pressure as our islands strive to address their economic aspirations and meet the needs of their growing populations.
The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) has been charged by the governments and administrations of the Pacific region with the protection and management of the environment and natural resources of the Pacific. SPREP’s mandate is to promote cooperation in the Pacific region and provide assistance in order to protect and improve its environment and to ensure sustainable development for present and future generations.
SPREP’s members are American Samoa, Australia, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, France, French Polynesia, Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, United Kingdom, United States of America, Vanuatu and Wallis and Futuna.
The head office is based in Apia, Samoa with about 100 staff. There is also a SPREP office in Fiji with four staff as well as SPREP Officers stationed in the Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.
IYOR Activities Plan
Every decade since 1997, SPREP has celebrated the International Year of the Reef (IYOR) in collaboration with the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) with its own specific campaign, the Pacific Year of the Reef (PYOR ’97 and PYOR ’08).
During the 28th SPREP Meeting held in Apia, Samoa from 19-21 September 2017, the 2018 edition was launched regionally by ICRI.
Coral Reefs have been chosen to be the thematic focus of the next two years.
The Third International Year of the Reef also coincides with SPREP’s 25th Anniversary, which will have each programme leading an activity for each month, with August dedicated specifically to celebrate its history of coral reef work in the region.
Just as anthropogenic threats to coral health are multiple, as always, the work of SPREP and our partners during this 3rd International Year of the Reef is being delivered through integration across all of SPREP’s programmes. The Pacific Year of the Coral Reef (PYOCR 2018 and 2019) are coordinated at SPREP by the Coastal and Marine team and includes our Ocean Team plus people from every key Section in SPREP. The PYOCR programme will involve several other projects in SPREP, plus our regional and international partners to help:
- Improve coastal management measures
- Build resilience of reefs to recover
- Reverse local drivers of degradation
- Stronger expert and practitioner networks
- Education and awareness into policy and conservation action.
As we roll out the Pacific Year of the Coral Reef campaign in 2018 and 2019, we are aiming to set a foundation for ongoing action for conservation and recovery of coral reefs well into the future. Our islands and Pacific livelihoods depend on it.