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PIRT holds successful 26th Annual Meeting, announces 11th Pacific Nature Conference

Updated: Nov 30, 2023

At the annual meeting of the Pacific Islands Roundtable for Nature Conservation (PIRT) held in Suva, Fiji, PIRT members welcomed the announcement by the Government of New Caledonia at the recent 31st SPREP Meeting in Apia that it will host the next Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas. The most significant regional gathering for conservation, the next Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas, will take place in 2025 in Noumea as a partnership of the Government of New Caledonia, SPREP and PIRT.

“Our Pacific islands share a unique marine ecosystem and numerous endemic species both on land and sea that are central to the culture and lives of our people.” said Hon. Jeremie Katidjo Monnier, Minister of Environment of New Caledonia, as he addressed the PIRT meeting. “We take very seriously all the threats that may compromise this environment, including climate change and biodiversity loss. This is why I am very happy to confirm that New Caledonia will host the 11th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas’.

The Conference is organised by the Pacific Islands Roundtable for Nature Conservation (PIRT), a network of inter-governmental, non-governmental, and donor agencies which are committed to supporting governments and civil society in our Pacific Islands in their efforts to sustainably manage and conserve the region's biodiversity. SPREP is the Secretariat of the Roundtable.

In the shadow of a global biodiversity and climate crisis, Stuart Chape, Director of Island and Ocean Ecosystems at SPREP, said “we are not winning, and we need to all step up and do as much as we can. This conference is a major activity, first held almost 50 years ago when it was known as the National Parks and Reserves conference, and in the last virtual conference in 2020, we had almost 2,000 participants online”.

Mr. Chape highlighted that “the EU funded Pacific BioScapes Programme is directly supporting both PIRT activities and activities being implemented by PIRT member organisations”.

The Pacific BioScapes Programme is a European Union (EU) funded action, managed and implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP). It contributes to the sustainable development of Pacific Small Island Developing States through the implementation of 30 focused activities taking place across a diversity of ecosystems in Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu. These Pacific islands are addressing critical issues concerning coastal and marine biodiversity, and ecosystem-based responses to climate change adaptation.

The current PIRT chair, Margaret West of BirdLife International, spoke of the importance of PIRT: “It introduces us to likeminded individuals with fresh ideas and creates a tribe of inspiring people. The PIRT and the PIRT working groups are coordinating action for our environments, cultures, communities and economies”.

This collaborative process of network building will be brought to the fore at the 2025 Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas, which will celebrate 50 years of protected areas conferences in the region.

The Pacific Islands Roundtable for Nature Conservation (PIRT) was held in Suva, Fiji from the 16th to the 17th of October, 2023. The meeting agenda can be viewed below.

26th PIRT Annual Meeting agenda UPDATE
Download PDF • 427KB

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