[ASC-media] Media Release: Pacific Islanders get UN-Conventional Help

Chloe Lucas chloe.lucas at crcreef.com
Mon Oct 6 08:44:08 EST 2003

International Marine Project Activities Centre (IMPAC) 

6 October 2003
Pacific Islanders get UN-conventional help

Representatives of ten Pacific Island nations are meeting with international experts to streamline their participation in United Nations conventions designed to protect the environment. The five-day workshop has been organised by the International Marine Project Activities Centre (IMPAC) in Townsville.

"Australia and many Pacific Island countries have signed international conventions that are designed to protect endangered species and unique habitats, but some nations do not have the capacity to comply with the reporting requirements of these conventions," said Dr Clive Wilkinson, co-ordinator of IMPAC and senior research scientist with the Australian Institute of Marine Science.

"Conventions are powerful tools to protect the environment, and the workshop will highlight how Pacific nations can benefit from participating in them," said Dr Wilkinson. "This workshop will help small island nations to understand their obligations as signatories to the UN conventions and agreements."

Agreements such as the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which prevents endangered species from being bought and sold, are particularly important in the Pacific, where endangered coral reef organisms are under threat from the aquarium trade. 

The workshop will also cover the Convention on Migratory Species, Convention on Biological Diversity, World Heritage Convention, Ramsar Convention on wetlands, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Montreal Convention on Ozone Gases.

Experts from Australia, France, Thailand, Japan and Samoa will run the workshop which is to be attended by delegates from Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, New Caledonia, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Samoa and Vanuatu.

The workshop is supported by IMPAC, in association with the Australian Local Governments Association, International Ocean Institute, National Oceans Office, Secretariats of the UN Conventions and Instruments, South Pacific Regional Environment Program and United Nations University.

The workshop runs from 6-10 October at IMPAC, 6th Floor, Northtown Tower, 280 Flinders Street, Townsville.

For more information:
Dr Clive Wilkinson, IMPAC, 07 4729 8452 or 4772 4314, mobile:0419 130 322, clive.wilkinson at impac.org.au
Ms Chloe Lucas, Media Liaison, CRC Reef, 07 4729 8450, mobile: 0408 884 521, chloe.lucas at crcreef.com

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