21 June 2012, Rio de Janeiro - The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) signed a memorandum of understanding with the Indian Ocean Commission in Rio de Janeiro. This now cements working partnerships across all the Small Island Developing States as an agreement was signed between SPREP and the Caribbean Climate Change Community Center (5C’s) last year.
“It’s groundbreaking in the sense that it’s the first formal agreement like this,” said Sefanaia Nawadra, the Director of Environmental Monitoring and Governance.
“The commitment has always been there to work together, now we are all at the stage where we have lessons that we can share with each other to help each other.”
A meeting today followed the signing of the MoU’s between IOC and the 5C’s, this is the start to paving the way forward for a stronger partnership. The IOC have indicated interest to attend the SPREP annual meeting in New Caledonia this year and a team from the 5C’s will be in Samoa over the next two months.
For one person in particular this momentous occasion is like a dream come true. Arthur Dahl was the one person secretariat of SPREP when it was first established in the 1970’s, before that he also worked on coral reef research in the Caribbean islands. Seeing how far the organizations and partners have come over the years has been a highlight for him at the Rio+20.
“This has been a dream for almost 40 years when we were first in the Pacific trying to build collaboration across the regions, having this dream that at the global level all the islands are working together, this is happening more and more, it’s the power between these that drives many environment agendas forward today.”
The signing took place at a side event coordinated by the Commonwealth Secretariat hosted at the Rio+20 meetings.