14th Meeting of the Pacific Islands Nature Conservation Roundtable


The Pacific Islands Roundtable for Nature Conservation was created in 1997 to increase effective conservation action in the Pacific Islands. The Roundtable is the Pacific’s only voluntary membership-based network of NGOs, donors and regional organizations working in nature conservation in the region.

The 14th meeting of the Roundtable took place 25-29 July, 2011 in Suva, Fiji with the theme of “Nature’s role in the Green/Blue Economy” so as to align with the regional preparations for Rio+20. Over the duration of the meeting, there was a good variety of presenters with very interesting perspectives on the green/blue economy.

The Roundtable has a number of working groups, which provide a forum for members to identify gaps in the Action Strategy for Nature Conservation in the Pacific Islands, and develop collaborative activities to achieve Strategy objectives. Some of these working groups convened during the Roundtable and managed to revise and/or formulate clear objectives and work plans.

The main outcome of the Roundtable was a resolution document of messages from the Roundtable for the Rio+20 process. The resolution called for:

  • Sustainable development to be embedded into sectoral business plans
  • Governments to ensure that any investments support green and equitable development
  • Conservation science and NGOs to advise developments in green economy sustainability and biodiversity should be at the core not just a new mechanism for capitalism gains
  • Rio+20 Summit to deliver concrete actions to support the maintenance of natural capital of Pacific Islands states
  • Governments to ensure that any foreign or local investments support green principles such as sustainable and equitable development
  • Governments to provide incentives for good practices through green financing

In the margins of the Roundtable, the following discussions took place:

Planned implementation arrangements for the new Regional Wetlands Action Plan.
Specifically, the discussion of the possibility of an action plan implementation oversight committee that would comprise relevant partners, such as IUCN Oceania, USP, UTAS, SPREP, Wetlands International Oceania, Ramsar Secretariat and others to be identified. Additional discussions will follow with these partners to develop this idea further.

Ramsar implementation issues requiring action (Fiji). Discussions were held with the Fiji National Administrative Authority (Department of Environment) on the Small Grants Fund project for the Upper Navua Conservation Area, the completion of the RIS for Upper Navua and future priorities for Ramsar listing. Agreement was reached on moving these forward.

Ramsar listing issues for seabird sites. Discussions were held with BirdLife Pacific staff to clarify the procedure for listing Ramsar Sites and for seabird-significant sites in the Pacific. Further follow up and assistance on this issue will be provided and close contact will be maintained with relevant BirdLife staff.

Written by: Vainuupo JUNGBLUT, Ramsar Officer, Oceania

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