IUCN Conservation Oceania Highlights Activities on Climate Change and Nagoya Protocol
March 2012: The March issue of the monthly update of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) news in the Oceania Region features articles on: the Declaration by Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) leaders on environment and climate change issues; new solar home systems in Tonga; and a workshop on the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing Arising from their Utilization.
The newsletter reports that the Declaration on Environment and Climate Change was signed by the Prime Ministers of Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and the Front de Liberation Nationale Kanak Socialiste (FLNKS) at the first Climate Change and Environment MSG meeting held in January in Nadi, Fiji. The declaration outlines several commitments that the MSG will pursue, including: the Melanesia Blue Carbon Initiative that will develop a strategy as well as inform decision makers on the important roles of mangroves, wetlands, coastal swamps and sea grass beds; and the Melanesia Terrestrial Commitment aiming to sustainably manage terrestrial ecosystems in government decision making, and strengthen local communities in sustainably managing their natural resources.
The issue also highlights that 43 new solar home systems have been installed on the island of Lofanga in Tonga, noting that this represents the third solar project completed by IUCN Oceania and the Government of Tonga, with support from the Governments of Italy and Austria, in the remote islands of Ha'apai.
Finally, the newsletter provides an overview of the South Pacific Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) Workshop, which took place in Nadi, Fiji, on 19-22 March 2012. The event aimed to provide a forum for participating countries to share experiences and prepare to accede and implement the Nagoya Protocol. The workshop was hosted by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), in partnership with the ABS Capacity Development Initiative (EU/GIZ) and AusAID. [Publication: Conservation Oceania March 2012]