Following the 31st SPREP Meeting held in Samoa in September 2023, the Cook Islands expressed its interest to start the Country Territory Strategic Partnership Framework (CTSPF) process.
The CTSPF serves as a high level collaboration framework designed to enhance strategic engagements by providing more targeted guidance between the Secretariat and individual Pacific Islands Countries and Territories. The development and implementation of CTSPFs involve a joint effort between each PICT Member and the Secretariat.
The process includes four phases; Initial development whereby key environment stakeholders are identified, Consultation where meetings between the Secretariat and stakeholders take place, Finalisation and Implementation and Monitoring and Evaluation.
The mission led by the Deputy Director General, Easter Chu and her team, from the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) took place from December 4th to 8th, 2023. During this mission, her team engaged with stakeholders, such as the National Environment Service, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration, New Zealand High Commission, Office of the Prime Minister (Climate Change and Marae Moana), and REDD, to initiate discussions on current work and programs in the pipeline.
NES discussions with SPREP have been pivotal in aligning environment efforts with strategic goals. The National Environment Policy 2022-2032 served as a guiding document for our discussions as it provided a comprehensive overview of the environmental priorities. Tekura Moeka’a, commented “I view this CTSPF as an essential tool for streamlining environmental activities. And the discussions ensure a focused and strategic approach to address key challenges and contribute to sustainable development” The Monitoring and Evaluation Framework within the Policy was instrumental in understanding some of the targets, how they are tracking if not what support may be available.
Easter Chu, Deputy Director General, SPREP noted that “the mission surpassed its primary objectives, paving the way for positive outcomes in environmental collaboration and sustainable development.” Further she extended her gratitude to the Cook Islands government, its dedicated team, Senior Government Officials, for the support during the SPREP mission to Cook Islands.
NES as the focal point will work closely with SPREP to continue discussions and develop the Country Territory Strategic Partnerships Framework for the Cook Islands.