February was an exciting month for IUCN Oceania, especially with the launch of its latest program, the Pacific Centre for Environmental Governance (PCEG).
Over a hundred guests witnessed PCEG’s launch in Suva on Tuesday, February 16 at the Novotel in Lami, a number of who were young emerging leaders from around the Pacific region who were part of the 2016 Emerging Leaders’ Conference that week.
PCEG, which is based out of IUCN’s Suva office, will provide world-class environmental governance support for Pacific Island decision makers and to existing IUCN programs. It will also contribute to the discussion and debate on pressing issues within and around the conservation sector.
PCEG will operate as a knowledge and practice hub, using a collaborative, holistic and innovative approach that is underpinned by IUCN’s regional and international experience, knowledge and networks.
PCEG places particular emphasis on linking leadership with law and policy, economics and people in order to inform decision making processes.
Speaking at the launch was PCEG Head Andrew Foran who said the Pacific could benefit from better approaches to environmental governance and from increasing awareness and discussion on the area.
“Environmental governance is about how we make rules, how we implement and enforce them, with a shared sustainable future as our goal. It’s about informed, holistic decision making,” he explained.
“Leadership provides the impetus and will, plus the courage to make difficult decisions, law and policy provides the framework, rules and procedures, resource economics provides the market based considerations and social policy provides the people and culture considerations.”
Mr Foran said that given the Pacific plays host to some of the world’s most important ecosystems and a very precious share of the planet’s biodiversity, it is key that decision making takes into account good governance.
“Nature is a central element of Pacific culture, society, economies and livelihood. Traditional and customary governance of natural resources has been going on for millennia in the Pacific. This is now being integrated with modern governance principles and practices, but limited resources and skills in the region are a continuing challenge for implementation, monitoring and enforcement.”
“PCEG aims to help with these governance challenges, collaborate and partner to bridge gaps in services and programs, bring together leaders and decision makers and raise awareness, promote discussion, build coalitions and generate initiatives.”
The PCEG team is currently made up of four staff members – Andrew Foran, Maria Goreti-Muavesi, Vaseva Loco and Dawn Gibson.