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A SPREP Review of Approaches to the State of the Environment in the Pacific UNEP GOE-IEA Regional Workshop, Thailand, ‘08 Review Goal, Objective & Outcomes Goal: TO IMPROVE SOE APPROACHES IN THE PACIFIC Objective: TO IDENTIFY PRIORITIES & DIRECTION FOR CAPACITY BUILDING Outcomes:

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a sprep review of approaches to the state of the environment in the pacific

A SPREP Review of Approaches to the State of the Environment in the Pacific

UNEP GOE-IEA Regional Workshop, Thailand, ‘08

review goal objective outcomes
Review Goal, Objective & Outcomes
  • Goal:
  • Objective:
  • Outcomes:
review parameters
Countries:SPREP Member Countries: Cook Is, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Is, FSM, Nauru, Niue, Palau, PNG, Samoa, Solomon Is, Tonga, Tokelau, Tuvalu & Vanuatu.

Review Levels:International, Regional, National & Local.

Period Under Review:1980 – 2007.

Specific Country Case Studies:Fiji, Samoa & Kiribati

Review Parameters
review methodology information sources
Review of Relevant References:SPREP IRC/Registry, other IGOs (USP, SPC, SOPAC & UNEP) and SPREP Member Countries

Face-to-face & Email Consultations:with staff of SPREP, other CROP Agencies – USP, SPC, SOPAC, UNDP, CI, WCS, Birdlife International, & IUCN Oceania – UNEP, ESCAP, ADB and key national governmental, non-governmental and private organisations in Fiji, Kiribati & Samoa

Country Visits: Samoa, Fiji & Kiribati

Review Methodology & Information Sources
presentation of review findings recommendations
Historical perspective on the evolution of Environmental Assessments & Reporting (SoE) in the Pacific.

Environment Assessments & Reporting Landscape – Global, Regional & National

Overview of SOE & Other Reporting by the SPREP & Member Countries

Key Observations on Existing Assessments & Reporting Approaches


Opportunities for the Way forward

Proposed Way Forward for SPREP the Organisation

Presentation of Review Findings & Recommendations

UN–MEAs, Conferences, MDGs, etc.

  • Mandates of UNAgencies – UNEP, ESCAP, etc
  • Regional Treaties & Plans, CROPs mandates
  • National Policies




1st Generation of SOE Reports – working docs for the SPREP Action Plan in 1982

2nd Generation of SOE Reports – stock taking as part of the NEMS

1st Generation of Reports for MEAs & Stock Taking for National Environment Frameworks – NBSAP, NAPA, NIP, etc.

1-1. Evolution of the State of Environment Assessments & Reporting in the last Quarter Century [1980-2005] in the Pacific

Reporting Frameworks:

Reporting Requirements: SOERs & Others


UN-MEAs, MDGs, etc.

  • Mandates of UNAgencies – UNEP, ESCAP, etc

Research & Monitoring Frameworks

  • Regional Treaties & Plans, CROPs mandates
  • National Plans




2nd Generation of research – key baseline ecological & geological surveys in ‘80s to the ‘90s and continuing to ’00.

3rd Generation of research & monitoring – measurements of project/programme performance & impacts from the ‘80s onwards.

  • Existing & Emerging Monitoring (Indicator) Systems:
  • Environment Assessments & Reporting Systems – SOEs, MEAs, etc.
  • Environment Sustainable Index (ESI)
  • Environment Vulnerability Index (EVI)
  • Pacific Action Strategy for Nature Conservation M&E System (AS-M&E), ETC.

Comparisons of ’80s, ’90s, & ’00s SOEs indicate changes in longer time periods (decades, centuries, etc.)

4th Generation of research & monitoring – integrated environment measurements (relatively new development)

Indicator Systems if regularly updated with data and data analysis can provide regular updates of the state of the environment / its components

1-2 Evolution of Environmental Research & Monitoring in the Pacific in the last Quarter Century (1980-2005)

1st Generation of research – scientific works of the 19th century to 20th century and weather/climate data from the 19th century

Research & Monitoring Development

2 3 national environmental assessments reporting landscape
2 - 3: National Environmental Assessments & Reporting Landscape
  • Global Frameworks:
    • National Reports (UNCEDs & MEAs)
    • Submissions to other UN Agencies’ Reports
  • Regional Frameworks:
    • Country Profiles – SPREP MTGs
    • Strategies – RT Working Group Reports
  • National Programmes:
    • SOEs
    • Strategies: NBSAP, NIP, NAPA, etc.
    • Sector Policy Reports
    • Etc.
  • National Agencies Mandates:
    • Annual Reports
  • Global Frameworks: Relevant Schedules
  • Regional Frameworks: Relevant Schedules
  • Regional Plans / Strategies:
    • Nature Conservation – Annual/5 Year
    • Climate Change – Annual/None
    • Solid Waste Management – Annual/5 Year
  • Regional Agencies’ Mandates
    • Annual
  • MAIN
  • Global Frameworks
  • Regional Frameworks
  • National Programmes
  • National Agencies’ Mandates

Potential Implementation Start at the Local Level

3 1 overview of soe mea reporting achieved by sprep s member countries in the last 25 years

Maximum Number of Reports Required from SPREP Member Countries




National UNCCD Reports (1st, 2nd& 3rd)

3 National CBD Reports (1st, 2nd & 3rd)

National State of the Environment Reporting

3 National UNFCCC Reports (1st, 2nd, & 3rd)

3-1. Overview of SOE & MEA Reporting Achieved by SPREP’s Member Countries in the Last 25 Years


Produced by National Stakeholders with assistance of International/Local Experts

Produced by International/ Local Experts under guidance of National Stakeholders

Produced by International Experts

3 2 overview of the soe mea reporting achieved by sprep s member countries in the last 25 years
General snapshots of the state of affairs at the time of reporting

Largely descriptive with few quantitative & qualitative trends analysis

Largely commissioned in response to global & regional processes and have provided/used to provide baselines for grounding new policy frameworks & project formulation

Lack policy & legal basis

Weak access to and use of potential resources for data monitoring & data analysis

3-2. Overview of the SOE & MEA reporting achieved by SPREP’s Member Countries in the last 25 years

Quality & Value

4 key observations on existing assessments reporting approaches
4.1 Driven & Govern by Global Frameworks (Top-Down Approach)

4.2 Requirements have Expanded Beyond Capacities of Pacific Island Countries Governments

4.3 Weak Coordination & Collaboration

4.4 Weakly linked to National Economic Planning Processes

4.5 Limited grounding on Reliable Scientific Quantitative Data & Data Analysis (Quantitative & Qualitative)

4. Key Observations on Existing Assessments & Reporting Approaches
4 requirements have expanded beyond the countries current capacities

Global Organisations

Global & Regional Reporting Requirements

Regional Organisations

PICs National


Global & Regional Financial & Technical Accessing Requirements

Global & Regioanal Negotiation Requirements

Support Services for their Countries’ Local Communities

Local Governance

4: Requirements have Expanded Beyond theCountries Current Capacities


Global & regional organisations developing services to help countries are primarily responsible with the collection & analysis of information/data on the conditions of the global & regional environments

Its difficult for governments to acquire & maintain technical specialists needed for all areas, that its best to have generalists who can cover wide ranges of subjects reasonably well.

The development of local communities’ environmental monitoring, assessment & reporting has parely started.

5 recommendations
Scale down, streamline & harmonize Environment Assessments & Reporting Requirements

Integrate Environment Assessment & Reporting to Over-arching Regional, National & Local Development Planning Frameworks

Develop Effective Long-term Monitoring, Assessments & Reporting Systems

Develop Long-term Individual & Institutional Capacity Building Processes & Programmes at National & Local Levels

Strengthen Regional information/data monitoring & assessment services

5. Recommendations
6 opportunities for the way forward
Scale down …Trial of Streamline Reporting to Biodiversity-MEAs

Integrate …Emerging Work For Environmental Indicators in National Sustainable Development Strategies & Pacific Plan and currently developed & tested global assessments processes

Develop Effective Environmental Assessment & Reporting…Emerging Framework Processes, e.g. UNEP GEO-IEA, Regional Governance Programmes (USP, FSPI, etc.)

Long-term Capacity Building at National & Local Levels…Emerging de-centralization of national governance to local governance, UNEP-EC (SPREP) Programme of Capacity Building for MEAs in ACP Countries, etc.

Strengthen Regional Services…Regional Plans, experience & information holdings of regional organisations (E.g. SPREP-IRC), and emerging environmental indicator monitoring programmes (E.g. SPREP-SOEs & Country Profiles, SOPAC-EVI, & SPC-PRISM)

6. Opportunities for the Way Forward
6 1 opportunities for the way forward
Conceptual Understanding of the Global Development Context For Building Environmental Assessments & Reporting Capacities

Key Areas for Capacity building interventions


For the last 50 yrs (recent 25-30 yrs for the Pacific experience) was reactionary vision and institutional framework setting to address global issues was the emphasis (Agenda 21)

The emphasis now is on individual initiatives effectively shaped & consolidated through efficient management tools s/a monitoring, assessessment & reporting that will provide real experience to transform frameworks into pro-active drivers of real sustainability into the future


Society’s Vision, Aspirations & Values (SCENARIOS)

Quality of the Environment & Quality of Environmental Governance / Management (SOE)

Processes, Structures & Capacities for Intergrating Environment & Development



Processes, Structures & Capacities for Environment Monitoring, Assessment & Reporting

Outcomes & Impacts (CHANGES)

Interventions & Commitments (CAPACITIES)


6-1. Opportunities For the Way Forward
6 2 opportunities for the way forward capacity building

Diagram 1: There is inconsistency between community ownership and use of resources and the resulting need for capacity to make and implement sustainable resource management decisions (left hand diagram) and the Government as the source of both development assistance and decisions related to resource planning and utilization (right hand diagram)

6-2. Opportunities For the Way Forward…Capacity Building
7 proposed strategy
Strengthen environmental assessments & reporting to contribute effectively and substantially to shaping national and local environment & development governance and to become a strong feature of Pacific Island cultures.

Identify common set of environmental parameters relevant to all major reporting requirements – MEAs, UNEP GEO, MDGs (Goal 7), SPREP Programmes (Country Profiles) & National Programmes – COMMON ENVIRONMENTAL DATA SETS & INDICATORS

Develop simple and practical monitoring, assessments & reporting programmes to regularly collect data & carry out measurements – NATIONAL INTEGRATED ENVIRONMENT MONITORING & REPORTING PROGRAMMES

Integrate assessments & reporting into national policies and legislations – REGULAR UPDATES OF VITAL ENVIRONMENTAL STATISTICS, GRAPHS, for national & local planning purpose, etc.

Strengthen SPREP’s integrated environmental monitoring & assessment capabilities – FUNCTIONING REGIONAL NTEGRATED ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT & REPORTING PROGRAMME

Assist negotiation to harmonise reporting to global reporting obligations

Assist Development of functioning National Monitoring & Assessment Programmes

Assist Long-term Capacity Building Processes (national & local)

Establish within its Programmes Regional Integrated Environmental Monitoring & Assessment Capabilities

7. Proposed Strategy