Workshop to review implementation of the Regional Wetlands Action Plan for the Pacific Islands


From 2 to 4 August 2010, a workshop was held in Nouméa, New Caledonia to review the implementation of the 1999 Regional Wetlands Action Plan for the Pacific Islands, and to develop a new Action Plan for the coming three years. This was followed by a series of training session from 5-6 August on Ramsar implementation processes (for Ramsar Contracting Parties) and accession procedures (for non-Contracting Parties). The event was made possible through the generous financial support from the Governments of Australia, France, Norway and United States. It was hosted by the Government of New Caledonia and was co-organized by SPREP and the Ramsar Convention Secretariat.

Group photograph of the workshop participants

The workshop was held at the headquarters of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) in Nouméa and engaged representatives from Pacific islands countries and territories that were Contracting Party(*), and non-Contracting Party to the Ramsar Convention, i.e. Cook Islands, Fiji(*), Kiribati, Marshall Islands(*), Nauru, New Caledonia(*), Palau(*), Papua New Guinea(*), Samoa(*), Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu, and Wallis and Futuna(*). In addition, there were representatives from regional organizations, NGOs and universities. Overall, the workshop was attended by more than 30 participants.

The main output from the workshop was the production of a draft 3-year regional wetland action plan (2011-2013) for the Pacific island, countries and territories (PICTs), with activities, responsibilities and targets, to further the wise use and conservation of wetlands in the region. This action plan is now being finalized by the meeting participants and is expected to be released early September.

Workshop in sessionOne of the breakout group in discussion

Once the plan is released, it will be circulated within SPREP and to all regional partners. In order to facilitate the implementation of the action plan, coordination with national governments, within SPREP and with regional partners will also be arranged.

A second breakout group. From left to right, Arawaia Moiwa (Kirabati), Lowell Alik (Marshall Islands), Kashgar Rengulbai (Palau), Prof. Randy Thalman (University of South Pacific), and Douglas Audoa (Nauru)…and a third group. From left to right, Marian Gwilliam (Ramsar Secretariat), Rose Singadan (Papua New Guinea), Vainuppo Jungblat (SPREP), and Rose Babaua (Solomon Islands)

Other outputs from the workshop included:

Participants, especially representatives from the PICTs, were able to share experiences and exchange information on national issues, challenges and priorities relating to the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands

Better understanding of implementation issues, processes and procedures of the Ramsar Convention on wetlands (for Contracting Parties)

Better understanding of the benefits and required steps for joining the Ramsar Convention (for non-Contracting Parties)

Participants were able to learn about wetlands conservation measures/initiatives in New Caledonia and able to make new contacts with French experts working in this field.

View over the ‘Plaines des lacs’, an important wetlands in New Caledonia that the workshop participants visited‘La Chute de la Madeleine’ (Madeleine Falls) in the ‘Plaines des lacs’

A report by:
Vainuupo JUNGBLUT (Mr.)
Ramsar Officer Oceania 
Administrateur - Convention de Ramsar
Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP)

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