Low enforcement weakens environmental fight: new course to help

02 March 2011 | News story

A new Environmental Compliance & Enforcement Certificate course will be offered from August this year as part of the University of the South Pacific’s calendar. This was revealed today when the British High Commission officially handed over the initial funding for the development of the course to IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The new course will specifically train participants in the detection of environmental offences, use of powers by authorized officers, collection of evidence that will withstand scrutiny in court, giving evidence in court as well as the preparation of charges and presentation of charges in court.

Policing of environmental legislations is very limited in many Pacific Island Countries due to the lack of skills and understanding of basic legal processes.

This course will help address this need and enable environmental regulators to acquire the skills to properly police compliance with environmental legislation within the region,” says Taholo Kami, Regional Director of IUCN Oceania Regional Office.

In most cases environmental law offenders go unpunished and our environment and our natural resources, the rivers, the sea and our land are polluted, protected species of fish are eaten and so forth, are further damaged,”added Taholo Kami.

The initial funding of FJD$76,000 provided by the British High Commission will allow IUCN, together with the Law Faculty of USP and the Australian Centre for Environmental Compliance to develop, deliver and offer the course at different USP campuses in the region.

The British government is delighted to be part of this exercise, a small step but an important one for enviromental compliance, and we look forward to working with USP and IUCN in how they can take this course further,” says British High Commissioner, His Excellency Mr Mac Mclachlan.

The course is a two-week certificate course and will initially be offered at the Laucala and Emalus campuses of USP from semester two of this year. There are no prerequisites for the course but it will be useful for enforcement and field officers in environment and natural resource agencies; lawyers who are interested to refresh their skills; voluntary local wardens and enforcement officers and environmental non-government organizations.
 

For more information contact Salote Sauturaga, Communications Officer, IUCN Oceania Regional Office. salote.sauturaga@iucn.org