There is a huge demand for training in the policing of environmental legislations across the Pacific region. This was the popular feedback from participants and partners of the Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Training Course as it concluded on July 22, 2011 in Fiji.
The two weeks course, offered in Vanuatu and Fiji, included training in the detection of environmental offences, use of powers by authorized officers, and collection of evidence that could withstand scrutiny in court.
“The course was successfully completed and showed how great the demand is for this kind of training, particularly at the national level,” says Christine Trenorden, Environmental Legal Mentor at IUCN Oceania and one of the course facilitators.
There were a total of 24 participants who attended the two rounds of training, 13 in Vanuatu and 11 in Fiji. Participants came from Palau, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Kiribati, Tuvalu and Fiji and were selected based on their work in the environmental enforcement area.
The lack of proper enforcement of existing environmental laws has remained a contributing factor towards the unsustainable management of natural resources in most island nations and this is an area the course is hoping to help address.
“I see this training as an important element to help the countries with the enforcement & compliance of their environmental Acts and Regulations,” stated one of the participants. “And this type of course should last for one month instead of just two weeks”
This is the first time a course of this kind has been offered for environmental compliance and enforcement for Pacific Island Countries.
“We are very grateful to the British High Commission and the Institute of Applied Science, University of South Pacific for funding this important course,” said Trenorden.
Given the positive feedback from the participants and the demand for the course, IUCN hopes to continue this training in partnership with USP in the future for other Pacific Island Countries.
The course was an initiative of IUCN, supported and assisted by the University of the South Pacific and was based on materials prepared by the Australian Centre for Compliance and Enforcement, who led the training.
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