Vainuupo Jungblut, Ramsar Officer for Oceania (ROO) based at the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) in Samoa, recently visited the Fiji Islands from 8-12 July to attend the third annual meeting of the Pacific Mangroves Initiative (PMI) held at the offices of IUCN Oceania and the 12th Pacific Science Inter-Congress held at the University of the South Pacific.
|PMI meeting participants|
The main highlights of the PMI meeting included a demonstration to the PMI members of the Regional Mangrove Monitoring Database developed by SPREP to store and manage national mangrove data. The database already contains mangrove data from Samoa and Tonga, while official requests to host national data from Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Fiji are in the pipeline. A soft launch of the database online is planned for the first week of August.
|RPO presenting regional mangrove database (PacMan) to PMI members|
The main highlights of the Pacific Science Inter- Congress included a session on natural solutions and Ecosystem based Adaptation run by SPREP. Also, papers presented by Fiji, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu on the results of baseline surveys and assessments under their country components of the IUCN-led project on Mangroves Ecosystem for Climate Change and Livelihoods (MESCAL).
|Fiji MESCAL presentation at 12th PSI|
Vainuupo Jungblut also took the opportunity to follow up Ramsar work with the National Administrative Authority for Fiji, the Department of Environment. Highlights included drafting of a workplan to track progress of national Ramsar implementation, completing a proposal for use of SGF funds and further sites nominated for Ramsar designation.
Listen here to Vainuupo Jungblut on ABC Radio Australia explaining how the Pacific Mangrove database, or PacMan, will be trialed initially in five countries.
Report and photos by Vainuupo Jungblut, Ramsar Officer for Oceania (ROO) based at SPREP, Samoa