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About PIRT

The Pacific Islands Roundtable for Nature Conservation (PIRT) is a coalition of nature conservation and development organisations, governments, inter-governmental organisations, donor agencies, and community groups, created to increase effective conservation action in the Pacific Islands region.

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© Lagi Reupena

PIRT was initiated by Pacific Island countries and territories at the 6th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas, held in the Federated States of Micronesia in 1997, in order to increase collaboration and impact between the many organisations involved in conservation and development in the Pacific region.  The first meeting of the Roundtable was convened the following year, in 1998.

The Roundtable enables organisations working on nature conservation in the Pacific to improve their collaboration and coordination towards effective conservation action. It is the key coordination mechanism for the implementation of the Pacific Islands Framework for Nature Conservation and Protected Areas 2021-2025 and the Vemööre Declaration, which were adopted at the 10th Pacific Islands Conference for Nature Conservation and Protected Areas in 2020.

PIRT Mandate

The Roundtable is maintained as a mechanism for promoting, facilitating and monitoring the implementation of the Framework.  PIRT adopts mechanisms for making its membership accountable to jointly formulated Principles of Implementation, and its work inclusive of participation by regional and national bodies.

The Roundtable mandate for the current five year period (2021-2025) is to increase effective conservation action in the Pacific islands by ensuring members:

  • Actively recognise, respect and support a Pacific approach to conservation based on sustainable resource use, community property rights and decision-making practices, and local aspirations for development and well-being.

  • Respect and encourage national and community partner leadership for all conservation programmes and help strengthen partner capacity to exercise their leadership.

  • Align conservation programmes with conservation programmes of national partners.

  • Design conservation programmes that are of a scale and budget appropriate to the local context and that long-term strategic planning and resource mobilisation sustains conservation over time.

  • Actively support communication, education and public awareness.

  • Put systems in place to enable full accountability to and participation of the people affected by conservation programme implementation assisted by well-communicated, fully transparent operations.

  • Work with each other to ensure collaborative strategies, agreed priorities and coordination of political engagement to avoid duplication.

  • Provide timely, transparent and comprehensive reporting on conservation programmes to the Roundtable.

  • Mobilise resources for the implementation of the Framework.

Governance and coordination

PIRT is a collective of regional conservation and development Member organisations, and is not a legal entity or separate organisation.  Major decisions about governance of the Roundtable are made in meetings of the Heads of Member organisations or their delegated representatives, under the leadership of the PIRT Chair.

PIRT is currently chaired by Margaret West of BirdLife International, who took up the role in 2020.  The PIRT Chair is a voluntary role that provides overall leadership of the Roundtable partnership.  PIRT wishes to acknowledge the previous Chair, Mason Smith of IUCN-ORO, for his many years of leadership and guidance.

SPREP functions as the permanent PIRT Secretariat.  Currently these responsibilities are shared by Amanda Wheatley (SPREP Biodiversity Advisor) and Juney Ward (SPREP Ecosystem and Biodiversity Officer).

The PIRT Implementation Coordinator is a part-time role supported by the Pacific BioScapes Programme to coordinate the implementation and monitoring of the Pacific Islands Framework for Nature Conservation and Protected Areas by PIRT Members and Working Groups.  The current Implementation Coordinator is James Tremlett.

A PIRT Youth Coordinator, also supported by the Pacific BioScapes Programme, will begin in January 2024.

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