Tuvalu News

Fourteen Pacific Countries Join International Waters Program

March 27,2002

All 14 Pacific countries and territories invited to join a major environment
program for a series of watershed management pilot projects have confirmed
their involvement, the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP)
announced today.

Earlier this week, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu signed a Memorandum of
Understanding with SPREP, joining 12 other Pacific island countries and
territories that have confirmed their involvement in the International Waters
Programme (IWP).

Funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and implemented by the United
Nations Development Program (UNDP), the program provides about US$ 400,000 to
each of the participating countries projects over three years.

SPREP Director, Mr. Tamari’i Tutangata welcomed the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu
to the program, congratulating all participating countries on their
involvement in the largest environment program SPREP has managed.

"The International Waters Program will see the establishment of community
based pilot projects to address a priority environment concern involving
marine and freshwater quality, community and habitat modification, and
degradation, or unsustainable use of living marine resources."

Joining the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu, are the Cook Islands, Fiji, the
Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New
Guinea, the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu.

‘The broad philosophy of the program is that it is communities who are best
placed to do something to address threats to local resources and it is local
communities, and their children, who will be the ultimately benefit from
successful strategies that support sustainable resource use through
responsible management practices," says Mr. Tutangata.

"We’re excited that all the Pacific island countries invited to be involved
are eager to participate and have considered the potential benefits of being
part of a program which focuses on critical environmental concerns associated
with the management of their coastal watershed."


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