6 Aug 2003

SPREP project receives approval in principle for invasive species project

4:32 pm on 6 August 2003

A region-wide project to tackle invasive species in the Pacific Islands is a step closer after receiving approval in principle from the Global Environment Facility, the GEF.

Liz Dovey, from the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme, SPREP, says this will allow a team to work towards getting funding for a project worth ten million U.S. dollars.

She says smothering vines, brown tree snakes and other invasive species have all contributed to the decimation of native species, causing a great deal of damage.

Ms Dovey says the GEF could fund a region-wide initiative that will tackle the problems, including the appointment of invasive species experts in each country.

"We need to have at least one in each country, we need to have government rules and procedures for example so we strengthen the quarantine services capacity to detect these species and to prevent them getting into the country, but we also need to be able to do a lot more of the specific work, on saving birds like the Kakarori. The Pacific at the moment has 24-percent of the worlds threatened birds."

Liz Dovey, the invasive species officer from SPREP.