The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) is the regional organization established by the Governments and Administrations of the Pacific charged with protecting and managing the environment and natural resources of the Pacific.
The SPREP head office is based in Apia, Samoa, with about 100 staff. There is also an office in Fiji with four staff as well as SPREP Officers stationed in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. SPREP has 21 Pacific island member countries and territories, and an annual budget of USD $29 million in 2018.
SPREP’s mandate is to promote cooperation in the Pacific region and provide assistance in order to protect and improve its environment and to ensure sustainable development for present and future generations.
The core priorities and focus of SPREP are in the areas of:
- climate change resilience
- island and ocean ecosystems
- effective waste management and pollution control
- environmental monitoring and governance
Of these, we recognize opportunities for the institutionalization of biodiversity data mobilization and data use for decision-making processes through the work of the Island and Ocean Ecosystems Team and the Environmental Governance Team.
The Island and Ocean Ecosystems work in the areas of biodiversity, invasive species, coastal and marine and threatened species. Obviously, these are all highly relevant for GBIF. All work with partner countries to advance conservation and sustainable development objectives.
The Environmental Monitoring and Governance Team deliver services and support strengthening environmental data collection, monitoring, and analysis and reporting on results, nationally and regionally.
To date, the Invasive Species Team has led engagement with GBIF. There is now an opportunity to engage with the organization more broadly to institutionalize data mobilization processes and promote GBIF across the region.
The project team attended meetings of the SPREP Data Committee and contributed to the development of the SPREP Environmental Data Policy. The policy was endorsed by SPREP and signed by the Director General on 30 January 2022.
Initial engagement with SPREP by hosting a workshop to provide an overview of data mobilization and data use for decision making is planned for 17 June 2022.
The project team is ably assisted by the SPREP Communications Team who manages the SPREP website and have a web of networks through the Pacific. The website has a regional focus and is a recognised platform for sharing relevant information and it is a great opportunity for project visibility. The engagement with the SPREP Communications Team will increase promoting data mobilization and data use for decision making by developing social media and online case studies.