II. MECHANISMS FOR INTEGRATING ENVIRONMENTAL CONSIDERATIONS INTO SECTOR POLICIES AND FOR MONITORING ENFORCEMENT
D. Institutional arrangements for coordination with trading partners/neighbouring countries
Recognizing the need for a regional approach to addressing the numerous environmental problems in the South Pacific, in 1974 Papua New Guinea mooted the idea of a regional environmental programme which was accepted by the South Pacific Forum. Following technical meetings which examined country statements on various environmental issues, an action plan was drafted and adopted in 1982. The United Nations Environmental Programme made a significant contribution to the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) via the Regional Seas Programme. That external assistance is supplemented by direct voluntary contributions from South Pacific Forum member countries and indirect inputs from various regional research and training institutions.
The regional programme operates through the SPREP Coordinating Group via two networks: the research and monitoring network and the education, training, and information network. The Association of South Pacific Environmental Institutions communicates with both networks. Network membership includes the government environmental agencies, the universities and NGOs. The SPREP secretariat is located in Apia, Samoa, and provides logistic, administrative and technical support to the programme.
SPREP research and monitoring activities include: watershed management, inland and coastal water quality, coastal ecosystems, pesticides, climate change and sea-level rise, and protected areas and conservation strategies. The education, training and information network has an active publications programme that produces leaflets, booklets, tape-slides sets, videos, films and other information materials. It also produces an environmental magazine, PLES, on a regular basis.
The Convention for the Protection and Development of the Natural Resources and Environment of the South Pacific and the Convention on the Conservation of Nature in the South Pacific are the major regional agreements that give backing to the work of SPREP. The Government of Papua New Guinea has ratified both Conventions.
SPREP has also assisted Papua New Guinea and other Pacific island countries to publicize their environmental concerns at international forums. One example of that effort was the Global Conference on Sustainable Development of Small Island States, which was held in 1994 in Bridgetown, Barbados.