Inception Workshop for GEF-funded Ridge to Reef Niue Project

Jul 8, 2016

A fisherman on his canoe. Photo credit: UNDP/V.Sokhin/2016.

The Ridge to Reef project for Niue had its inception workshop on Thursday 07th July 2016 at the Niue Golf and Sports club  in Fonuakula, Alofi. 

The Ridge to Reef project is a regional initiative funded by the Global Environment Fund administered by the United Nations Development Program. 

The 5-year project (April 2016 – April 2021) will enhance Niue's capacity to effectively create and manage protected areas for biodiversity conservation, sustainable use of natural resources, and safeguarding of ecosystem services.  It focuses on the expansion of its protected estate on land and on its marine areas through a combination of community conservation areas and government-led protected areas.  In Community Conservation Areas, both strict protection and sustainable use zones will be identified and planned carefully, using innovative protection tools recognizing that tenure over most land areas is vested in local communities.


 National project stakeholders and UNDP MCO staff. Photo credit: UNDP/V.Sokhin/2016.

Dr. Josie Tamate, Director General of Ministry of Natural Resources, is the GEF Operational Focal Point, and will have oversight on project activities implemented across several line ministries.

The project reflects Niue’s new National Strategic Plan (2014-2019), whose objective is to “build a sustainable future that meets our economic and social needs while preserving environmental integrity, social stability, and the Niue culture”. In particular, the project will support the practical implementation of the 5th Pillar of the Plan, which focuses on the “sustainable use and management of Niue’s natural resources and environment for present and future generations”.

This project has also been developed in accordance with the goals and scope of the UNDP-GEF Regional Ridge-to-Reef Programme "Pacific Islands Ridge-to-Reef National Priorities – Integrated Water, Land, Forest and Coastal Management to Preserve Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services, Store Carbon, Improve Climate Resilience and Sustain Livelihoods”.

The mechanisms introduced by the project is to cultivate and capture the best sustainable local practices and activities being established within the designated areas including the reef and seashore as well as any proposed constructions there after.


 Kalio, 9, swims underwater near a shell of giant clam. Beveridge Reef area, Niue. Photo credit: UNDP/V.Sokhin/2016.

There are two significant components of the project with one concept to assist the Government of Niue establish terrestial and marine protected areas as well as build on traditional practises and the other prority is to encourage and support the communities to manage the landscape outside of the established protected areas effectively.

Work plan and activities for the next phase of the project are now being finalised by the newly appointed project manager.

Other areas of focus under the Ridge to Reef Programme includes Climate Change, Land Degradation, International Waters and Multiple Focal Areas.

The Ridge to Ridge Project contributes to SDG 15 Life on Land specifically to protect and promote sustainable use of terrestrial and marine ecosystems.


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