Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP)

This island nation contains many marine eco-systems, from globally significant coral reefs to mangroves, seagrass areas, seamounts and deep-sea trenches supporting at least 769 fish species, including sharks and rays, as well as whales, dolphins and sea turtles.

Kiribati’s marine ecosystems are worth at least AU$400 million per year, which is twice the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). We are strongly committed to sustaining these values to build an equitable and pros-perous blue economy

Tonga’s marine ecosystems are worth at least TOP 47 million per year, exceeding the country’s total export value. We are strongly committed to sustaining these values to build an equitable and prosperous blue economy.

This national ocean policy aims to protect and increase the value of resources of ocean and also the inherent value of the marine ecosystems and species upon which that wealth relies on.

The first and second editions of the Handbook, on which this Pacific version is substantially based, were prepared as a practical introduction to negotiating or working on Mulitlateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs). They were prepared for people with little or no technical background in negotiations.They were also intended to function as a key reference tool for experienced negotiators. As a result the subject matter is developed at a relatively broad level.

SPREP’s Environmental and Monitoring Governance (EMG) Programme convened a regional meeting for participants to review the successes of the ACPMEA Project Phase 2, discuss and share experiences in implementing the ACPMEA project, and establish clear linkages to the Inform project.

SPREP’s direction in the Islands Ecosystems Programme reflects a fundamental commitment to sustaining the livelihoods of Island peoples today and tomorrow by supporting ecosystem management and species conservation. The Programme focuses on developing the capacities of the peoples of the islands to equip them to sustainably manage and conserve the terrestrial, coastal and marine ecosystems of their islands.

Rapidly expanding human populations and associated economic growth and overconsumption is resulting in serious degradation of the natural environment human survival depends on (Vitousek et al., 1997; Sanderson et al., 2002; Orr, 2004; Alroy, 2010; Branch et al., 2013). Almost half of the global human population currently lives within 150km of the coast (UN Atlas of the Oceans, 2014). This results in severe pressures being placed on marine and coastal environments.

Since the early 1990s the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) has been promoting the use of environmental planning and assessment processes amongst its member countries and territories. SPREP's approach to environmental planning and assessment has been part of a global programme for improving environmental management and supporting sustainable development.