𝐒𝐏𝐑𝐄𝐏 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐒𝐈𝐍𝐔 𝐒𝐢𝐠𝐧 𝐌𝐞𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐮𝐦 𝐨𝐟 𝐔𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐨 𝐄𝐧𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐂𝐥𝐢𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐑𝐞𝐬𝐢𝐥𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐄𝐧𝐯𝐢𝐫𝐨𝐧𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐥 𝐏𝐫𝐨𝐭𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧

𝐏𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐑𝐞𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐞



Caption: SINU Vice-Chancellor Prof. Transform Aqorau and Director General of SPREP, Mr Sefanaia Nawadra signing copies of the MoU.

Solomon Islands National University (SINU) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) have signed a landmark Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Apia, Samoa on 23 May 2024. The signing ceremony was attended by Professor Transform Aqorau, Vice Chancellor of SINU, and Mr. Sefanaia Nawadra, Director General of SPREP.


This MoU signifies a strategic collaboration between SINU and SPREP aimed at addressing the pressing issues of climate change and environmental protection in the Pacific region. The agreement outlines a comprehensive framework for cooperation in various areas, including climate change adaptation, environmental sustainability, and capacity building.


Key Highlights of the MoU:


  1. Exchange Programmes: The agreement facilitates the exchange of faculty, students, and research staff between SINU and SPREP, fostering academic and professional growth.


  1. Joint Research Initiatives: Both parties will collaborate on joint research projects focusing on climate change impacts, traditional knowledge integration, and sustainable practices.


  1. Community Engagement: The MoU emphasises the importance of community-based approaches, encouraging the involvement of local communities in environmental conservation efforts and climate resilience initiatives.


  1. Educational Programmes: SINU and SPREP will work together to develop new academic programmes that integrate traditional knowledge with modern scientific research, creating a unique and culturally relevant educational experience for students.


  1. Environmental Awareness: The collaboration will support awareness-raising efforts and policy advocacy to promote environmental protection and sustainable development in the Pacific region.


The signing of the MoU coincided with the Pacific Oceans Pacific Climate Change Conference held in Apia, where Professor Transform Aqorau delivered the keynote address on “Harnessing Ancestral Wisdom: Traditional Knowledge and Practices for Climate Resilience.” In his speech, Professor Aqorau highlighted the vital role of traditional knowledge in addressing climate change, emphasizing that integrating ancestral wisdom with contemporary scientific methods can lead to innovative and sustainable solutions.

In his Keynote Address Professor Aqorau said, “By harnessing the wisdom of our ancestors and the rich tapestry of traditional knowledge, we can discover culturally appropriate solutions to the environmental crises we face. Our path forward lies not in replacing our cherished cultures but in turning to our heritage for resilience and strength. By weaving these time-tested practices into our official policies, we reinforce our unique identity and lead the way in climate resilience.”

“The establishment of living labs and the Centre for Islands Futures at SINU exemplifies how we can integrate indigenous knowledge with modern scientific research to create resilient and sustainable communities. These initiatives are not just educational hubs but centers for community engagement where local wisdom is valued, and new ideas are tested in real-world settings.”

Professor Transform Aqorau said, “The signing of this MoU marks a significant milestone in our journey towards a sustainable and resilient Pacific. It reflects our shared commitment to environmental stewardship and climate resilience. By working together, SINU and SPREP will leverage the strengths of both traditional knowledge and scientific research to address the complex challenges of our time. This partnership is a testament to the power of collaboration in fostering innovation and empowering our communities.”

Professor Aqorau also noted his historical connection with SPREP, having been one of the negotiators and signatories of the SPREP Agreement as the Plenipotentiary of Solomon Islands in 1993. This enduring relationship underscores the deep commitment and shared vision of both institutions in promoting sustainable development and environmental protection in the Pacific region.

Click to download the SINU Vice-Chancellor’s keynote address: POPCCC Key Note Address on traditional knowledge