16 Apr 2013

Work in protecting endangered species in Pacific must continue - CEPF

6:30 am on 16 April 2013

Conservation International says there is a desperate need for local environmental groups to continue their work in protecting endangered species in the Pacific region.

A final evaluation conference is underway in Suva, Fiji, to assess the impact the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund has had on the region.

The Fund has allocated 7 million US dollars since 2008 to civil societies from 13 Pacific Island countries & territories, for the purpose of safe-guarding bio-diversity - but that fund support ends this year.

Grant director for Conservation International's CEPF, John Watkin, says there have been a number of successes as a result of the fund, and some failures.

"But there's lots of other things that we've learnt in terms of the need to engage a lot of Pacific Islanders in trying to get them to take up conservation as a career opportunity and look at working in the environmental sector. There's incredible interest amongst local communities but then there's not always the access to the information required to set up an organisation to set up funding or to get off the ground."

John Watkin says there's also a need to share more information as there's lots of great people doing great work, though it's often disjointed.