A new three-year Regional Wetland Action Plan (RWAP) for the Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs) has been developed outlining activities, responsibilities and targets that seek to promote and strengthen the conservation and wise use of wetlands in the region.
The new RWAP follows on from the original Regional Wetlands Action Plan endorsed by members of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) in 1999. The new action plan covers the period 2011-2013.
The development and finalisation of the Action Plan was a combined effort of 13 PICTs, and indicates a renewed proactive stance to reverse the trend of degradation and loss of wetlands in the Pacific.
Losing the wetlands in the Pacific means losing the valuable ecosystem services that they provide for communities, thus impact negatively the areas of tourism, food security and coastal protection, especially for the many smaller islands where many communities live near wetlands and depend on them for their livelihoods. However, such communities are the least able to cope with the effects of wetland loss.
Ways in which steps can be taken to strengthen the conservation and wise use of the Pacific wetlands are outlined in this updated Plan, which is expected to make a positive impact in the region. Healthy wetlands play a vital role in sustaining the lives of Pacific peoples and with cooperation and commitment from all players; this plan could really make a difference.
The three-year action plan was developed during a regional workshop organized by SPREP, the Ramsar Convention Secretariat and the Government of New Caledonia, which was held in Noumea, New Caledonia in August 2010.
Download the Action Plan [PDF]. The Regional Wetlands Action Plan is also available in French (download PDF here).
Report by Vainuupo JUNGBLUT,
Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP)