By Jack Lapauve Jr – EMTV News, Port Moresby
Fourteen Pacific Island countries reaffirmed their commitment to better managing their environments, through the Global Environment Facility-funded Pacific Ridge to Reef Program, in Australia recently.
A big-ticket item included the endorsement of the work plan and the budget for the next 12 months prompting lively discussions.
The 4-day meeting drew outcomes, identified challenges and develop a way forward for Pacific nations.
The meeting had robust discussions on priorities for implementation, among them, harmonized results reporting and enhancing platforms for communications and knowledge management. This also includes country visits in the region and exchange learning.
The programme aims to guide coordinated investment of the US$91 million package of GEF grants, and USD 333 million of co-financing from the participating countries and other development partners.
Participating countries include the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.
The 4th Pacific R2R Regional Steering Committee meeting will be held in Nadi next year.