Training customs officers in Suriname in pesticide inspection
In collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries in Suriname, the Caribbean Hub led a training workshop on Pesticides Inspection and Customs Issues in the Caribbean. With support from the FAO, the workshop was held in the capital Paramaribo from 4 to 6 December 2017, and saw the participation of 20 pesticides inspectors and 14 customs officers. Aimed at enhancing the capacity of pesticides inspectors and customs officers, the training focused on managing pesticides and enforcing relevant national and international law, including the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions.
This workshop was a follow up of another joint training workshop on pesticides inspections and customs issues in the Caribbean, organized by the FAO and CARICOM Secretariat in Saint Lucia 15-17 March 2017, where the importance to transfer the knowledge to national stakeholders was recognized. One of the desired outcomes of the FAO and CARICOM Secretariat workshop was for participants to organize follow-up training sessions at the national level in their home countries.
Thus, this timely organization of this workshop by the Government of Suriname is a demonstration of countries’ commitment to the work being done under the ACP MEAs programme and to participants’ honoring the commitments made at the regional workshop, upon return to their respective countries. This national workshop was the first follow-up activity organized by a national agency. Furthermore, the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries has expressed a commitment to implement additional national training workshops over the next five months, an initiative that will be supported by the ACP MEAs Caribbean Hub.
Compliance and enforcement of environmental laws and policies in Fiji and Samoa
Environmental and natural resources management policies and legislation support the sustainable management of the Pacific island nations’ natural capital for the benefit of current and future generations. A major challenge however, is to ensure consistent compliance and effective enforcement of these laws. SPREP – serving as the Pacific Hub – partnered with International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Pacific Centre for Environmental Governance and the Australian Centre for Financial and Environmental Compliance to provide a training to build the capacity and the confidence of managers and officers tasked with ensuring environmental compliance and enforcement. The training took place in Fiji and Samoa in October 2017, and was attended by 20 participants who play a key role in environmental compliance and enforcement from various Ministries. The Pacific Hub will follow up with the participating countries on compliance and enforcement work, and it is hoped that with adequate funding, they can replicate similar trainings to other member countries.
Environmental impact assessment in the Federated States of Micronesia
The Pacific Hub has had a longstanding involvement in training for environmental impact assessment at the national level, and last quarter was no different. The trainings took place in the four states of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM): Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae. Beyond providing training on EIA, the activity assisted with the finalization of the State of Pohnpei’s EIA guideline, provide technical advice, and undertake a snapshot review of the FSM National Environmental Strategy (NEMS) 1993 from a state perspective. The training was appreciated by those attending and recommending that refresher trainings take place every few years by the Pacific Hub, in order to ensure follow through on the teachings.
Implementing the Nagoya Protocol in francophone Africa
With its lowland forests, coastal landscapes, rich river basins, West Africa has rich biodiversity and natural resources that provide social, ecological and economic resilience to the region. In order to ensure the fair access and equitable sharing of benefits of such crucial resources, the Nagoya Protocol of the Convention on Biological Diversity aims to support countries and regions develop regulatory and legislative frameworks on access and benefit sharing (ABS).
To that effect, UN Environment led a workshop in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire from 13 to 16 November, 2017 to support West African countries in enhancing their capacities to initiate legal and regulatory frameworks on ABS at the national level. In contrast to the event organized by the African hub, this workshop targeted countries that have already ratified the Nagoya Protocol and are focusing on enhanced implementation. The sessions included developing national roadmaps as tool to support implementation, sharing knowledge and lessons learnt in the course of implementation at the national level, among other objectives.
Providing such a platform for knowledge sharing and technical assistance has been a crucial means of capacity building under the ACP MEAs programme. In order to maintain the momentum built through this workshop, it is expected that further support will be provided to beneficiary countries in implementing the roadmap developed at the workshop, and find further means to develop regional and national projects with a harmonized approach on ABS measures.