17 Jun 2004

Conservationists in Niue call for financial help

5:30 pm on 17 June 2004

Niue conservationists are appealing for donor support from the region, to research the full extent of damage to the environment following Cyclone Heta earlier this year.

The Director for the environment department, Sauni Tongatule, was part of a team who addressed donors at a Pacific Islands Roundtable for Nature Conservation meeting in Fiji.

He says the Niue government has more pressing priorities.

Mr Tongatule says there are two key things they need to be able to fully assess the damage.

"It's just due to finances and also the lack of personnel and technical knowhow as to how to do the actual assessment. And also you cant get into some of these areas to do proper assessments. We're just hoping some people might commit to some financial assistance to enable us to lobby some of our NGO's back home to do some of the work back home. I don't think government is in a position to do some of this work."

The roundtable meeting for nature conservation ends on Friday.