Regional Organisations

Websites of the regional organisations in the Pacific

Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission [SOPAC]
SOPAC, the Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission is an inter-governmental, regional organisation dedicated to providing products and services in three technical programme areas of: Community Lifelines; Community Risk; and Ocean and Islands. Website includes access to detailed reports, journals, newsletters amd GIS maps and data for the region.

Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency [FFA]
The Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) strengthens national capacity and regional solidarity so its 17 members can manage, control and develop their tuna fisheries now and in the future. Based in Honiara, Solomon Islands, FFA's 17 Pacific Island members are Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. FFA was established to help countries sustainably manage their fishery resources that fall within their 200 mile Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs). FFA is an advisory body providing expertise, technical assistance and other support to its members who make sovereign decisions about their tuna resources and participate in regional decision making on tuna management through agencies such as the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC).

Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat
The Pacific Islands Forum, formerly the South Pacific Forum until a name change in October 2000, was founded in August 1971 and comprises 16 independent and self-governing states in the Pacific. The Forum is the region's premier political and economic policy organisation. Forum Leaders meet annually to develop collective responses to regional issues. The Forum's membership has increased from the original seven founding members (Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Nauru, New Zealand, Tonga and Western Samoa - now Samoa) to also include the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Niue, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. New Caledonia and French Polynesia, previously Forum Observers, were granted Associate Membership in 2006. Current Forum Observers include Tokelau (2005), Wallis and Futuna (2006), the Commonwealth (2006) and the Asia Development Bank (2006), with Timor Leste as Special Observer (2002).

Pacific Islands Regional Ocean Policy website [SPC] Includes access to full text documents and working papers on critical environmental issues.

PNA [Partners to the Nauru Agreement]

The PNA brings together eight Pacific Island countries to sustainably manage tuna. PNA Members are Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.

The PNA are global leaders in conservation and fisheries management. Fish has always been vital for Pacific Island life and the PNA currently controls 25% of the world's supply of tuna.

Many PNA conservation measures are world firsts - such as high seas closures, controls on Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) and the 100% coverage of purse seine fishing vessels with observers. The PNA has no dolphin bycatch and measures to limit the impact of tuna fishing on sharks and turtles.

The focus of PNA efforts to sustainably manage tuna is the Vessel Day Scheme. PNA members agree on a limited number of fishing days for the year, based on scientific advice about the status of the tuna stocks. Fishing days are then allocated by country and sold to the highest bidder.

Secretariat of the Pacific Community
SPC is an international organisation that provides technical assistance, policy advice, training and research services to 22 Pacific Island countries and territories in areas such as health, human development, agriculture, forestry and fisheries. All of these areas are critical to the eight million people of the Pacific, who continue to face challenges from their remote locations and scarce resources, as well as new challenges from growing populations, decreasing food security and the effects of climate change. SPC has served the people of the Pacific for more than six decades - we celebrated our 60th anniversary in 2007 - and in that time, we have grown to become the largest developmental organisation in the Pacific with around 350 staff and offices in Noumea, New Caledonia, Suva, Fiji Islands, and Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia.

SPC's vision for the region is 'a secure and prosperous Pacific Community, whose people are educated and healthy and manage their resources in an economically, environmentally and socially sustainable way'. There is, of course, no way we can progress towards achieving this vision without the support and confidence of the people we serve, and SPC's real strength is the enduring partnerships we have formed with our member governments and communities, who set our priorities and determine our course.

Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme [SPREP]
SPREP is a regional organisation established by the governments and administrations of the Pacific region to look after its environment. It has grown from a small programme attached to the South Pacific Commission (SPC) in the 1980s into the Pacific region's major intergovernmental organisation charged with protecting and managing the environment and natural resources. It is based in Apia, Samoa, with over 70 staff. SPREP's mandate is to promote cooperation in the Pacific islands region and to provide assistance in order to protect and improve the environment and to ensure sustainable development for present and future generations.

South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation
The Convention on the Conservation and Management of the High Seas Fishery Resources of the South Pacific Ocean (the Convention) was adopted in Auckland, New Zealand on 14 November 2009. When the Convention enters into force, the gap that exists in the international conservation and management of non-highly migratory fisheries and protection of biodiversity in the marine environment extending from the most eastern part of the South Indian Ocean through the Pacific towards the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) of South America will be closed.It is envisaged that the new RFMO will be established and operate consistent with international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS) and the United Nations Agreement on Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks 1995 (UNFSA), and best practice.

University of the South Pacific
The University of the South Pacific, as one of two regional universities in the world, is supported by 12 Pacific Island Countries - Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. The university graduated its first cohort of 32 students in 1971 and during the intervening years over 30,000 graduates have successfully completed their studies. Today the university has an enrolment of approximately 22,000 students studying in all twelve countries.

Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC)
The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) is the central decision making body for management of tuna fishing in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean. Conservation and management measures (CMMs) of the Commission are legally binding and apply to all WCPFC members and the Convention area. Whereas members of FFA are from the Pacific Islands, members of WCPFC are FFA members and distant water fishing nations.

WCPFC's current members include Australia, China, Canada, Cook Islands, European Community, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, France, Japan, Kiribati, Korea, Republic of Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Chinese Taipei, Tonga, Tuvalu, United States of America and Vanuatu. Out of a total of 32 participating territories and members of WCPFC, over half (17) are FFA members, forming a significant voting bloc (although so far in the WCPFC's history decisions have been made by consensus).

see WCPFC Factsheets for more information about the WCPFC.

Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council : Ecosystem-based management of fisheries in US Pacific Islands
The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council is one of eight regional fishery management councils established by the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976. Amended in 1996 to prevent overfishing, minimize bycatch and protect fish stocks and habitat, it is now called the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA). During its first 30 years, the Council's accomplishments have run the gamut from being the first Regional Fishery Management Council in the nation to prohibit drift gill-net fishing and to develop an ecosystem-based fishery management plan to being the pioneer of the vessel monitoring system (VMS) for fishing vessels, which is now being implemented in fisheries worldwide. The WPRFMC is a rich source of documents and resources relating to the US Territories in the Pacific: American Samoa; Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Hawaii, Pacific Remote Island Areas .