Interest in environment impact assessment strong in Tokelau

Residents of Nukunonu Atoll in Tokelau now have the skills to conduct Environment Impact Assessments (EIA) following training coordinated by SPREP.

An EIA systematically helps to assess the impact of any development upon the environment before a decision is made. It recommends the best steps to take in planned a development while maintaining environmental integrity.

The training was requested by the Nukunonu Taupulega, the governing body, through the Tokelau Director of Economic Development, Natural Resources & Environment. Mr Mika Perez.

The very first training of its kind for the island atoll saw participants from the Ministry of Health, Youth, Education, Fisheries, Environment as well as Taupulega, and Fatupaipaito a Women's Group of Tokelau, learnt more about the EIA process. There were discussions on adopting EIA into national development policies.

"A practical activity under this training was a village survey of Nukunonu which revealed the need to coordinate construction of sea walls in order to address the coastal erosion along the atoll and open sea coastal areas. Another key finding was the bad management of waste," said Mr. Jope Davetanivalu the Planning and Capacity Development Adviser of SPREP.

"The next step is to see how we can assist with these from SPREP, including working with our Waste Management and Pollution Control team to support Tokelau through a range of waste management activities."

The training also focused on the review of EIA policy framework developed in 2012 which was developed specifically for the Nukunonu Airstrip. The plan now is to develop the EIA policy framework to address any other development that will need to go through the EIA process.

Plans are already underway to continue the EIA training for the remaining Atolls of Tokelau, Fakahofo and Ataho, with the national environment team. The Environment Impact Assessment Training for Nukunonu Atoll on Tokelau was held 10 – 14 June. The training was officially opened by the Hon. Minister for Finance and Health - Mr. Siopili Perez.

For more information please contact Mr. Jope Davetanivalu of SPREP –