The Pacific RT and the Role of NGOs
The Pacific RT and the Role of NGOs in Supporting NBSAPs
A key contributor to deteriorating biodiversity in most Pacific island countries is weak government leadership and capacity, and a lack of local ownership of environmental problems and their solutions.
The parallel contributor is that non-Pacific actors such as the international NGOs often exacerbate this situation (despite their good intentions) by driving the biodiversity conservation agenda via their own narrow strategies and programs which are typically well funded. In the meantime, the concerned government departments often look on helplessly with inadequate funding, and unable to influence or link the host of NGO conservation efforts which abound in their country.
The fundamental purpose of the National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) in each country is precisely to help address the above issues. The NBSAP in each country needs to be owned by the concerned government and to become the rallying point around which NGOs contribute and link up their respective funding and program efforts.
The Pacific Roundtable is facilitating this process. In 2009 – 2011 it has worked with Fiji, the Solomon Islands and PNG to address the above issues and make the NBSAP in each country the focal point of all NGO contributions to biodiversity conservation. These three countries were selected as the first phase on the RT’s new strategy for revitalizing the NBSAPs in the Pacific.