06 October 2023, Apia Samoa - Officials from various Ministries of the Samoan government have been equipped with cutting-edge skills in drone technology and Geographic Information Systems (GIS), which they will be able to put to good use for environmental monitoring and management to benefit the communities they serve. This follows a two-day Drone Training programme and a one-day session on GIS at SPREP’s headquarters at Vailima from 27 September – 29 September 2023. Funded by the UN Joint Programme Building Forward Better by Safeguarding Natural Capital and Ecosystem Services project (UNJP SESS) project, the training was organised by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and Samoa’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE).

SPREP’s Director General, Mr Sefanaia Nawadra, emphasised the interrelation in environmental monitoring and management, and highlighted the remarkable progress in drone technology. “The exponential advancement of drone technology has brought us to a point where the sky is no longer the limit but a vast canvas of opportunity. This gathering signifies a momentous achievement in our joint endeavours to confront the urgent environmental issues that impact our region and the global community,” Mr Nawadra said.

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