More Top Stories

Crime
Sports
Court

Alleged rapist in remand

27 April 2024

National
Rugby league

Moana target 2025 World Cup

11 November 2022

National Environment Service partners with Monash University to strengthen environmental protections

Tuesday 30 April 2024 | Written by Supplied | Published in Environment, National

Share

National Environment Service partners with Monash University to strengthen environmental protections
National Environment Service director Halatoa Fua, right, with the Cook Islands delegation and Associate Professor Gerry Nagtzaam of the Monash Law School. SPREP/24042918

Enhancing Cook Islands capacity and learning opportunities when it comes to science, environment and legal policy is at the core of a partnership between the National Environment Service (NES) and Monash University in Australia.

Signed last week on the margins of the Fourth Session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) on Plastic Pollution, this Memorandum of Understanding also provides Monash University with the opportunity to increase its knowledge about the Cook Islands environment and its people.

Underpinning a “teamwork” approach to complement each other’s strengths, expertise and resources – this partnership has a multi-layered approach.

It will help strengthen the Cook Islands at the global level as the Pacific Island negotiates for a legally binding instrument on plastic pollution including in the marine environment through the INC. It will also support work at the national level across the Cook Islands through technical assistance provided when sought.

NES director Halatoa Fua said: “The Cook Islands National Environment Service is encouraged by this partnership that help us learn from each other, bringing about a resilient Cook Islands environment for all.”

“We are excited by the potential of this partnership in building the capacity of our teams. For the Cook Islands that resides in an EEZ of close to two million sqm – environmental conservation, protection and management is a priority for so many of us. We know this partnership will reap many benefits in this area.”

Spanning a three-year period, the first action stemming from this is the support team of students to undertake research and provide reviewing support for the Cook Islands delegation negotiating in the INC process for plastic pollution including in the marine environment.

Associate Professor Gerry Nagtzaam of the Monash Law School who will be leading the new Global Plastic Law Clinic stated: “This will not only be an amazing opportunity for students to participate in and learn about these critical international negotiations, but also to offer real time legal research assistance to the Cook Island delegation before and during ongoing INC negotiations.”

“Monash University remains committed to having a continuing educational and research presence in the South Pacific region. The University perceives the Clinic as the first step in building an ongoing partnership with the Cook Islands to work together to confront other pressing global environmental issues such as climate change.”

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed on April 24 in Ottawa, Canada on the sidelines of the fourth session of the intergovernmental negotiating committee on the plastic pollution including in the marine environment.

“We congratulate the Cook Islands for their new partnership that will support our SPREP Member on their journey towards Pacific resilience,” said Anthony Talouli, director of the Waste Management and Pollution Control of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).

“We look forward to the continued impact the Cook Islands is making with this enhanced support as we approach the final leg of the INC process for an ambitious legally binding instrument on plastic pollution.”

The fourth Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution concluded yesterday.

The Pacific Islands were represented by the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu through the support of the Government of Australia and the United Nations.

They were supported by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), working with partners the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS), Office of the Pacific Ocean Commissioner (OPOC), The Pacific Community (SPC), Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA), Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), Centre for International Environmental Law (CIEL), University of Wollongong, WWF and Massey University.

  • SPREP