Measurements taken of a dead shark … the WWF-SPREP agreement will help Pacific Island nations protect species that are important to economies and the proper functioning of natural environments. Photo: Francisco Blaha.
Republished from WWF-Pacific, 25 October 2019
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) have signed a renewed memorandum of understanding (MoU) to further strengthen conservation collaboration in Fiji and the South Pacific region.
The renewed MoU signed by WWF-Pacific’s Interim Director, Dr Benjamin Rawson, and SPREP’s Acting Director-General, Mr Roger Cornforth, will cement WWF and SPREP’s partnership for a further five years and support work programmes of common interest to both parties.
This will include collaborating on initiatives related to ecosystem-based adaptation or nature-based solutions; threatened, endangered and protected migratory species; planning, monitoring and communications for conservation; biodiversity of the deep sea; regional and international policies including multilateral environmental agreements; wetlands and Ramsar; marine spatial planning; and integrated ecosystem management.
Speaking at the signing, Dr Rawson welcomed the partnership as a great contribution to advancing environmental work at the national and regional levels.
“WWF and SPREP have collaborated over the years on issues that are affecting the Pacific, with a focus on communities and biodiversity. Today’s renewed MoU is a testimony to our shared commitment to deliver national, regional and international conservation priorities, and addressing issues including threatened species protection, reduction of bycatch fisheries and community adaptation to climate change,” said Dr Rawson.
The work outlined by the renewed MoU will also further strengthen WWF’s support to its project sites in Fiji’s Great Sea Reef Land and Seascape, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.
The Acting Director-General of SPREP, Mr Roger Cornforth, highlighted that SPREP valued the shared partnership with WWF over the last five years.
“Together we have worked to support the conservation priorities of our Pacific members through the Regional Framework for Nature Conservation and Protected Areas in the Pacific Islands Region 2014–2020, including the conservation of turtles in Fiji, of dugong and seagrass in the Solomon Islands, and of sharks and rays throughout the Pacific, which has featured successful listings on CITES, promotion of shark sanctuaries and guidelines for in-water encounters.
“SPREP values the information and analysis that WWF contributes to our Pacific conservation partnership. Reporting such as WWF’s economic analysis of the blue economy in Melanesia adds significant value to the regional conservation effort and shows the value of our close collaboration for our members. We look forward to continuing this partnership, working together to help the regional struggle to halt the decline of biodiversity and best manage the impacts of climate change on our Pacific environment, cultures and livelihoods,” added the Acting Director-General of SPREP.
One such project is the current joint implementation of the Pacific Ecosystem-based Adaptation to Climate Change or PEBACC project in the province of Macuata on Fiji’s largest customary fishing ground (qoliqoli) and only Ramsar-designated wetland area, iQoliqoli Cokovata. An objective of the MoU will be to explore opportunities to expand Ramsar designation to other parts of the Great Sea Reef. Fiji’s Great Sea Reef is the third longest continuous reef system in the Southern Hemisphere.
The partnership will also strengthen continuous collaboration on conservation and management through monitoring and protection of bycatch species such as sea turtles, sharks and rays and sea birds within Fiji and the Western and Central Pacific Ocean region.
Photo: Maritime Executive.
Republished from the Maritime Executive, 20 May 2019
The recent Human Rights at Sea and NGO Pacific Dialogue Fijian fisheries case study about Mesake Kaisuva by his widow Salote Kaisuva, has been used by WWF Western and Central Pacific Tuna Programme Team to brief the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) Monitoring, Control and Surveillance Working Group (MCSWG) supporting positive changes for the implementation of a crew welfare licensing minimum terms and conditions.
WWF lead, Bubba Cook, cited to the charity the leadership role by the FFA on the issue, and that last week the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Committee (FFC) approved the minimum licensing conditions for crew welfare in the region.
WWF have been pushing this initiative for more than a year as an extension of their work on Observer Safety and Security, with the first significant provision on the issue being a presentation Bubba in October 2018 to the Management Objectives Consultation of the FFA highlighting the global media coverage and case studies on abuses in the Pacific region fishing industry, including those from Human Rights at Sea.
Bubba said: “In April 2019, I provided an intervention on the HRAS report on Mesake Kaisuva to the FFA MCS Working Group and offered the report as an information paper. Subsequently, it was cited a couple of times by Member States in interventions supporting the implementation of a crew welfare licensing minimum terms and conditions (MTC), most notably by Fiji. The MCS Working Group consequently forwarded the recommendation to the Forum Fisheries Committee, who agreed to adoption of the proposed MTCs last week, which represents the first instance of its kind where a fisheries institution has attempted to address crew welfare and human rights. The FFC’s recommendation will now go forward to the FFC Ministers.”
Human Rights at Sea Founder, David Hammond, commented: “It is reassuring to know that the charity’s independent work and investigations alongside key partners is being positively used to influence State-level decision-making for the betterment of crew welfare provisions in the Pacific region, and we thank WWF for their engagement.”
Coming Up. Human Rights at Sea will be shortly issuing another detailed case study on the effects on Fijian tuna fishermen of dangerous working conditions resulting in life-changing injuries.
The products and services herein described in this press release are not endorsed by The Maritime Executive.
Republished from Undercurrent News, 12 April 2019
The International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF), a global coalition of scientists, the tuna industry and World Wildlife Fund (WWF), has added three new names to its 11-member board of directors.
The new additions include Rohan Currey, a scientist at the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). Prior to working for MSC, he was a principal scientist at New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries, specializing in marine mammal science and Antarctic fisheries science. He also represented New Zealand in the International Whaling Commission and the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources.
Also joining is Martin Tsamenyi, a professor of law and the former director of the Australian National Center for Ocean Resources & Security at the University of Wollongong. Tsamenyi has served as fisheries law advisor to the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency and legal counsel to the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission and was chairman of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas.
Additionally, ISSF’s board has added Giuseppe Di Carlo, director of the WWF Mediterranean Marine Initiative, where he is responsible for supporting Mediterranean countries to achieve key conservation and management targets, specifically on fisheries and marine protected areas. Since 2008, Di Carlo has been involved in developing and implementing ecosystem-based based management into conservation strategies.
Alfred Schumm, the former director of the WWF Global Fisheries Program and now director of innovation, sciences, technologies and solutions at WWF, will be stepping down from the ISSF board after serving for more than eight years, the organization reports.
Bubba Cook (WWF) talks about an environment NGO perspective from the 14th Regular Session of the Western & Central Pacific Fisheries Commission.
Published 7 Dec 2017