Press Release - 4/16/2010 - 11 Pacific island countries are to meet in Samoa next week for a workshop to assist them in completing their fourth National Reports to the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD).

The CBD is an international treaty that sets out commitments for maintaining the worlds' biological diversity. 14 Pacific islands countries are contracting parties to this convention, of which three have completed and officially submitted the necessary fourth National Reports; Niue, Samoa and Tuvalu.

These reports outline national progress towards meeting the commitments of the CBD and it is crucial that the outstanding Pacific island fourth National Reports are completed within the next couple of months, in anticipation of the upcoming Conference of the Parties to the CBD in Nagoya, Japan in October this year.

This particular Conference of the Parties is of significant importance given that this is the International Year of Biodiversity and a time to monitor and evaluate the global progress towards meeting the 2010 Biodiversity target.

"There is an urgency to have these reports completed and submitted, they will be extremely useful in terms of helping provide information on the status and trends of biodiversity in our region, as well as by giving a regional picture of the progress that the Pacific is making in terms of the 2010 Biodiversity target," said Vainuupo Jungblut of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).

All parties to the CBD have committed themselves to achieve by 2010 a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss at the global, regional and national level as a contribution to poverty alleviation and to the benefit of all life on Earth. National country reports are one method to measure progress.

The workshop next week is one step to ensuring that these reports are completed and submitted. As a follow up to the workshop, SPREP will continue to work with the 11 Pacific island countries to assist with the completion of these reports.

"The workshop next week will involve the sharing of experiences, lessons learnt by those that have completed their national report as well as hands-on practical activities which will enable countries to update their reports and get direct assistance from resource people. The National Reports to the CBD will also provide countries with the opportunity to show case and highlight some of their success stories as well as challenges that they face in meeting their biodiversity targets"

The workshop will be held at the SPREP Compound in Apia, Samoa from 19 to 22 April. The countries participating are Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu.

This workshop has been made possible through the kind support of the Government of Japan, the United Nations Environment Programme, the Global Environment Facility and through the close collaboration between the CBD Secretariat and SPREP.

Value Islands Biodiversity - It's our life.