Malta – 06 October, 2017 – The European Union Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica and the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), Dame Meg Taylor, today signed a financing agreement for the EUR 45 million Pacific – European Union Marine Partnership (PEUMP) programme, to be implemented in 15 Pacific ACP countries (PACPs). The Commissioner also signed a transfer agreement with the Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden, Isabella Lövin, which provides co-finance of EUR 10 million.
The Pacific – European Union Marine Partnership (PEUMP) was launched in the margins of the Our Oceans Conference in Malta, where global leaders are currently meeting to commit to and make concrete pledges to new actions in the fields of sustainable fisheries, marine protected areas, climate change, sustainable blue economy, marine pollution and maritime security.
The PEUMP is aligned with the Regional Roadmap for Sustainable Pacific Fisheries and will support sustainable management and development of fisheries for food security and economic growth in the Pacific region. It will be implemented over six years by regional organizations, in close cooperation with competent authorities from the 15 beneficiary countries: Cook Islands, Fiji, the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste.
The PEUMP programme follows a comprehensive approach, taking into account increasing needs for marine biodiversity conservation and for resilience to climate change. Further areas of support will include (i) the provision of scientific and management advice, (ii) the development of local employment and inclusive growth through more sustainable management of oceanic and (iii) coastal fisheries resources, (iv) the fight against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing, (v) sustainable utilisation of the coastal and marine biodiversity; and (vi) capacity building throughout the entire programme.
The programme is expected to facilitate sector policy dialogues, involving civil society organisations and non-state actors, including the private sector, at all levels, thus contributing to ownership and sustainability beyond the lifetime of the programme.
The PEUMP is being financed by the European Union (EUR 35 million) and co-financed by Sweden (EUR 10 million). The Swedish government puts special emphasis on increasing resilience of vulnerable coastal communities against negative effects of climate change and on promoting human rights, decent work and gender.
In his opening remarks for the Special Pacific Event, Commissioner Mimica reaffirmed the role of the European Union as a reliable partner of the Pacific, underlining their joint and ongoing commitment to sustainable development and stronger regional integration in the Pacific. He continued saying: “As the life force that sustains our planet and every person on it, we will continue to support every effort to manage our oceans more sustainably for local communities and for many generations to come.”
Deputy Prime Minister Lövin added: “Marine resources form the backbone of the Pacific economy. The Pacific – European Union Marine Partnership will combine regional and national approaches and put specific attention to promote direct and positive changes for the ones in most need, targeting women, youth and other vulnerable groups.”
On behalf of the Pacific Islands Forum, Secretary General Taylor said: “Our fisheries are fundamental to the health and prosperity of our people. For this reason it is vitally important that they are managed and developed in a sustainable way. The signing of the financing agreement for the PEUMP is testament to partnership with European Union that recognises the priorities Forum Leaders have set for the sustainable development, management and conservation of the Blue Pacific region.
The ceremonial signature of the PEUMP programme was by a Special Pacific Event during which Japan and Sweden made short statements, followed by a moderated panel discussion with ministers from Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu, together with the PIF Secretary General and the Director-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of the European Commission.
The PEUMP programme aims to improve the economic, social and environmental benefits for 15 Pacific ACP states (PACPs) arising from stronger regional economic integration and the sustainable management of natural resources and the environment.
The programme will be implemented by competent regional organisations, notably the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA), the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP). Close cooperation is also envisaged with the University of the South Pacific (USP), competent national authorities of Pacific ACP countries, international organizations (i.e. IUCN), international and local NGOs (e.g. WWF) as well as the private sector.
For further information:
Matthias Reusing, European Commission
For media enquiries in the Pacific region please contact:
Nazeem KASIM, Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific Suva, Fiji
Press and Information Officer
Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIF)
The contribution of SIDA will be entrusted to the Commission through a Transfer Agreement. An amount of approximately EUR 450,000 will be allocated to the Commission as a lump sum in order to cover for administrative costs;