Training with SPREP lays the foundation for future planning of marine resource management in Nauru

Nauru has taken the first step towards Marine Spatial Planning (MSP), a process that brings multiple users of the ocean together to make informed and coordinated decisions about how best to use marine resources sustainably.

A training workshop on Marine Spatial Planning ended last week, it followed on from a Geographic Information Systems workshop which introduced the concept of MSP and its benefits as a training tool.

"All of the participants have contributed an enormous amount of work during the week, which is reflected in the high quality of the workshop outputs", said Dr Piers Dunstan, team leader marine biodiversity at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

"This provides a good basis for Nauru to begin implementing a national marine spatial planning process in the future."

In-depth discussions were held over the four day training workshop to identify priorities of the different stakeholders such as government, communities, and NGOs, related to marine resources management and where these opportunities conflict. The training drew on experience and methodology developed by the Enhancing Pacific Ocean Governance (EPOG) project, funded by Australian Aid.

The values and uses of different in-shore marine areas around Nauru were identified and discussed in detail and the different pressures placed on these areas by different activities.

Participants were also prompted to start thinking more closely about appropriate management options for the different areas.

"The training was a great success and provided a good introduction to marine spatial planning, its associated process and what needs to be considered at each step of the process," said Mr Being Yeeting of the Nauru Fisheries and Marine Resources Authority.


Community members were enthusiastic about the training results.


"Our community is looking forward to establishing a marine managed area and the discussions this week will be very helpful for us to start looking options for this and for improving the livelihood of our community," said Mr David Gadaraora, community representative from Anibare District.

The training also promoted cross-learning and a platform for exchange with other Pacific island countries, "the training this week has been useful in providing me with an understanding and appreciation of proper planning for marine areas and why we should be managing them. The training will help me greatly with my work with communities back home," said Ms Mii Matamaki, GEFPAS IIB coordinator for the Cook Islands.

This was a key activity of the Nauru GEFPAS Integrated Island Biodiversity (IIB) Project and was a collaborative partnership between the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), the Nauru Fisheries and Marine Resources Authority (NFMRA), the Department of Commerce Industry and Environment, Government of Nauru and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) of Australia.