Wednesday, 1 July 2009 9:50 AM

Adapting to our Century's Challenge with this Pacific Response

Press Release - The single biggest and most important regional adaptation to climate change project that spans 13 countries is the focus of a one week workshop in Apia, Samoa.

The Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change Project (PACC) opened its inception training today with over 50 participants coming together to discus the administration and implementation of the US 13.125 Million dollar project.

The week not only marks the inception of the PACC Project, but also the start of the very first region wide adaptation project to help countries address the adverse affects of climate change.

The importance of this workshop was echoed by the Associate Minister of Environment of Samoa, Hon. Fonotoe Nuafesili Pierre Lauofo, during his opening speech.

"For the PACC project to succeed we need to build a solid foundation to the project work that you are about to embark on in the next five years."

There will be adaptation projects happening in 3 different areas within the 13 pacific islands countries.

Fiji, Palau, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands will focus on food production and food security.

The Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Samoa and Vanuatu are developing Coastal Management capacity; Nauru, Niue, Republic of Marshall Islands, Tonga and Tuvalu are looking to strengthen their water resource management.

"At risk are not just people, but unique human cultures, born and bred in watery isolation. Faced with inundation, some of these people are beginning to envision the wholesale abandonment of their nations," stated Kosi Latu, the Acting Director of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).

Ms. Naheed Haque of the United Development Programme (UNDP), the implementing agency of PACC is confident the inception workshop will help to explore opportunities for effective implementation of PACC so it makes a visible difference in the lives of Pacific people.

"Together, we can fight this new and daunting battle of the millennium - climate change."

Day one of the workshop allowed for an overview of PACC and to hear different country presentations on PACC opportunities and challenges in their home island.

The workshop will end on Friday 3 July after a full week of discussing the different administrative and reporting requirements and allow for stronger partnerships.

The PACC is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as its implementing agency and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) as implementing partner.