Building a vision for Pacific Islands
10 December 2012 | Article
The Pacific Oceanscape, proposed in 2009 by the Hon. Anote Tong, Prime Minister of Kiribati, and endorsed by Pacific Island leaders in 2010, fosters cooperation on ocean conservation. It provides a strong vision for conservation and sustainable management of the Pacific’s wealth of marine resources.
The Pacific Oceanscape envisions a secure future for Pacific Island states based on a number of objectives: Integrated Ocean Management; Adaptation to environmental and climate change; and Liaising, listening, learning and leading.
Implementation of the Pacific Oceanscape Framework has begun with the appointment of Tuiloma Neroni Slade, currently Director-General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, as Ocean Commissioner. Pacific islands countries continue to make significant commitments to the Pacific Oceanscape, and in 2012 both the Cook Islands and New Caledonia announced marine protected areas greater than one million square kilometers.
Strong partnerships between the Council of Regional Organizations of the Pacific (CROP) through its Marine Sector Working Group, IUCN, Conservation International and other regional and national organizations, are building capacity to support countries and implement the Pacific Oceanscape.
The new South Pacific Ocean Ecosystemic Analysis (PACIOCEA) project, funded through the European Union BEST scheme (Voluntary Scheme for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Territories of European Overseas), will be implemented by the French Marine Protected Areas Agency and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) in collaboration with local governments, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, and the French Institute for Research for Development. The project will build capacity and methodologies for marine spatial planning and decision-making at multiple scales, focusing on visual and practical decision-making tools, therefore supporting the implementation of the Pacific Oceanscape.