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New SPREP guidelines to support Sustainable and Resilient Coastal Development in the Pacific launched

06 September 2023, Apia Samoa – A landmark set of guidelines developed to support resilient coastal infrastructure development in the Pacific have been launched in Apia, on the margins of the 31st SPREP Meeting of Officials.
The ‘Good Practice in Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for Coastal Engineering in the Pacific” guidelines were launched during a side event hosted by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) at Taumeasina Island Resort.
The guidelines are a comprehensive document offering a step-by-step methodology for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in coastal engineering projects. They aim to support existing national regulatory frameworks, provide an assessment methodology, encourage public participation, and strengthen monitoring and management of projects.
The guidelines also provide a toolkit for developing environmental monitoring and management plans (EMMP) to support ongoing monitoring and compliance of coastal development projects.
Around 50% of Pacific Islanders live within 1.5 km of the coast, and excluding Papua New Guinea, about 90% reside within 5 km. About 57% to 65% of the built infrastructure in the region is located within 500m the coastline. These statistics underscore the need for careful planning and sustainable development along coastlines, which are under threat from climate change and overdevelopment.
While SPREP has developed a suite of EIA guidelines, there is a renewed focus on developing sector-specific guidelines to support member countries in minimizing and managing the impacts of coastal development project and also to ensure that projects are planned and implemented with long term sustainability.
Speaking at the launch, Mr Ivan Diarra, Technical Officer for the Pacific Network for Environmental Assessment, said: "The coast is intrinsic to the way of life in the region, and coastal ecosystems support a variety of provisioning, regulating, cultural and supporting services across the region.”
He added: "The purpose of these guidelines is fourfold: to democratise the EIA process in the region, to promote good practices in coastal development projects, to encourage compliance with national EIA regulatory frameworks, and to support sustainable and resilient coastal development that protects environmental, social, and cultural assets."
The launch of the Coastal Engineering Guidelines is a monumental step towards a resilient and sustainable Pacific. They not only offer a technical roadmap but also empower communities by emphasizing public participation. These guidelines will be integrated into SPREP’s existing EIA guidelines and capacity-building programs and SPREP encourages member countries, regional entities, and multinational financing agencies to adopt these guidelines in their projects.
The development of the guidelines was made possible through the European Union initiated capacity building project phase 3 titled, "Capacity Building related to Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Countries", implemented by UN Environment executed by SPREP.
For more information on the Guidelines, please contact Jope Davetanivalu, Director of Environmental Monitoring and Governance Programme, [email protected], Ivan Diarra, Pacific Network for Environmental Assessment (PNEA) Technical Officer, [email protected]
To learn more about the ACPMEA 3 project, please visit

The 31st SPREP Meeting of Officials and associated meetings are taking place at Taumeasina Island Resort in Samoa this week, from 4-8 September 2023. The meetings are guided by the theme: “SPREP@30th Sustainable, transformative and resilient for a Blue Pacific.”  

The 31st SPREP Meeting of Officials and associated meetings bring together SPREP's 21 Pacific Island Member countries, 5 Metropolitan Members and partners to discuss strategic issues pertaining to the organisation, and to approve the 2024-2025 work plan. The 21 Pacific Island Member countries and territories of SPREP are: American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Vanuatu and Wallis and Futuna. The five Metropolitan members of SPREP are: Australia, France, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States of America. 

In our efforts to fulfil our vision of ‘a resilient Pacific environment, sustaining our livelihoods and natural heritage in harmony with our cultures’, SPREP is extremely grateful to our valued Members, development partners, donors, our CROP family, and stakeholders.   
For more information on the 31SM, please contact: [email protected]