3 Sep 2010

Plans to conserve more wetlands in the Pacific developed

2:54 pm on 3 September 2010

A new plan to conserve Pacific wetlands has been developed to promote the wise use of water based ecosystems throughout the region.

The three year plan, is based on the international Ramsar Convention, where countries commit to the conservation projects.

The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme's Ramsar officer for Oceania, Vai Jungblut, says wetlands include a range of habitats.

"You have everything from upland fresh water swamps, fresh water lakes, crater lakes. You have rivers, you have streams, you have ground water aquifers, you have ponds, you have coral reefs, you have mangroves, you have seagrass meadows, you have lagoons. There's quite a wide range of habitats that fall in the term 'wetlands'."

Vai Jungblut says he hopes the plan will strengthen laws covering these areas and improve communication between government agencies.

He says Fiji, Marshall Islands Palau, Papua New Guinea and Samoa are already parties to the plan and he is also helping Tonga, Niue and Kiribati prepare to join the international agreement.