15 Dec 2017 Story Green economy

SPREP and UNEP-WCMC announce new partnership to showcase Pacific Islands’ achievements in protecting biodiversity

An exciting new partnership has been announced between UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP). These two organisations will work together to ensure efforts to conserve biodiversity in the Pacific islands are recognised worldwide.

In recent years, several Pacific islands have taken significant steps to conserve their unique island ecosystems and biodiversity, designating vast areas of ocean for additional protection. However, better information on protected areas in the region is needed to put in place the most effective conservation measures. The global dataset maintained by UNEP-WCMC currently holds data on 553 protected areas across the Pacific islands. However, there are many more protected areas in the region, and the opportunity to better capture the full set of attributes on these protected areas will ensure that the region’s contributions to protecting the local and global environment are fully recognised. Through their new partnership, UNEP-WCMC and SPREP will work to ensure this.

Heather Bingham, Programme Officer at UNEP-WCMC said:

 “This much-needed agreement will ensure that Pacific nations’ true contributions to conservation will be reflected on the world stage, through the multiple products, reports and studies that draw on UNEP-WCMC’s data”.

Through the new partnership, SPREP, which supports coordinated environmental protection and sustainable development across the Pacific region, will work closely with Pacific island governments to collate data on the location, management-effectiveness and other key site-based information for government-run protected areas, alongside protected areas managed by local communities, indigenous peoples, and private organisations and individuals.

“Achieving effective management of protected areas and reporting progress on meeting conservation priorities and targets at national, regional and global levels relies very much on availability of good quality data. This new partnership with UNEP-WCMC complements the work of the SPREP protected areas support programme. It will facilitate the consolidation, sharing and use of national protected area data at appropriate levels to ensure an accurate account of Pacific island commitment to conserve their biodiversity through establishment and management of protected areas” said Stuart Chape, Director of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Management Division at SPREP.

The data and information generated through the partnership will be made available both through the Pacific Islands Protected Area Portal (PIPAP) and through Protected Planet, with the agreement of national governments and other stakeholders. The PIPAP is the premier regional online resource for all Pacific island protected area information managed by SPREP, while Protected Planet is a global online platform, managed by UNEP-WCMC as the official and most comprehensive data portal on marine and terrestrial protected areas. 

Government agencies and other stakeholders interested in participating in the Pacific Islands Protected Area Portal or Protected Planet should contact Amanda Wheatley at SPREP ([email protected]).

For further information, please contact Heather Bingham, UNEP-WCMC ([email protected], +44 (0) 1223 814676)

The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) works to promote cooperation in the Pacific region and provides assistance in order to protect and improve its environment and to ensure sustainable development for present and future generations. SPREP hosts the Pacific Islands Protected Area Portal (PIPAP).

UNEP-WCMC works with scientists and policy makers worldwide to place biodiversity at the heart of environment and development decision-making to enable enlightened choices for people and the planet. Our 100-strong international team are recognised leaders in their field and have unrivalled understanding of the institutional landscape surrounding biodiversity policy and ecosystem management. Based in Cambridge, UK, UNEP-WCMC is a collaboration between UN Environment and the UK charity, WCMC.

Protected Planet is the most comprehensive global source of information on protected areas, updated monthly with submissions from governments, non-governmental organizations, landowners and communities. It is managed by the UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) with support from IUCN and its World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA).