Joint media release: Australia remains committed to a resilient Pacific

19 May 2021

The Hon. Zed Seselja, Minister for International Development and the Pacific
The Hon. Sussan Ley MP, Minister for the Environment


A new 10-year Partnership Arrangement with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) was signed today by Minister for International Development and the Pacific Zed Seselja, reaffirming Australia’s commitment to practical programs supporting climate change resilience and adaptation, and protecting the vital ocean ecosystems of the Pacific.

SPREP is the Pacific’s leading environmental organisation, spearheading the region’s agenda on protecting and sustaining a resilient Pacific environment. The renewed Partnership Arrangement was signed in a virtual meeting between Minister Seselja and SPREP Director-General Kosi Latu.

Australia is providing $16 million through the partnership for SPREP’s Pacific Ocean Litter Project, as part of our ongoing commitment to combatting plastic pollution.

Minister for International Development and the Pacific Zed Seselja welcomed the renewed partnership, saying it supported a prosperous and resilient Blue Pacific.

“COVID-19 has brought into even sharper focus the need for action to address ocean pollution, and build climate and disaster resilience within the Pacific,” Senator Seselja said.

“Australia is a world leader in taking action to protect our oceans. Together with SPREP, we are committed working with our Pacific neighbours to combat the pervasive challenge of plastic pollution in our oceans.

Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said the new phase of support for SPREP reinforced Australia’s commitment to shared solutions and practical actions on sustaining a healthy Pacific environment.

“A healthy, sustainable Pacific environment is essential to the quality of life and economic security of all Pacific Island nations. Australia is proud to continue to work with our Pacific family to make this happen,” Minister Ley said.

SPREP Director-General Kosi Latu said the partnership underscored the longstanding cooperation between Australia and SPREP.

“Our renewed partnership is critical to realising SPREP’s mandate of supporting the Pacific region to protect and improve its environment, particularly as we look to a post-pandemic future,” Mr Latu said.

Mr Latu was accompanied at today’s meeting by Sara Moriarty, Australia’s High Commissioner to Samoa.

Australia has supported SPREP since its inception in 1993 including through the ongoing provision of core funding. For further information on SPREP please visit www.sprep.org