Courtesy visit by Acting Australian High Commissioner Ruth Baird to NES
Acting Australian High Commissioner to the Cook Islands Ruth Baird paid a courtesy visit to the National Environment Service (NES) on Thursday 5th January 2023. This was a great opportunity for NES to discuss its 5-year strategy, the changes that will occur in the environmental legislative space, the current communication strategy and key environmental challenges in the Cook Islands.
It was also an opportunity for NES to hear of Australia’s Government support in and of the Pacific, in indigenous language preservation, climate action as we look towards UNFCCC COP31 (which Australia is bidding to co-host with Pacific nations) and ocean preservation by combating marine litter, to name a few. NES discussed some of the many projects implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) that are funded by the Australian Government. The Pacific Ocean Litter Project (POLP) and support for the Intergovernmental Negotiations Committee (INC) for a legally binding global treaty to end plastic pollution are a few of these programmes.
Director of the National Environment Service, Halatoa Fua, notes, “bilateral relationships are important and imperative” as it ensures continued support, coordination and collaboration. Fua expressed his gratitude to Ruth and thanked her for her time and her visit to NES.
NES looks forward to continued engagement with the Australian High Commission on shared areas of interests and importance in the environment sector.