Pacific small island states most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change will benefit from a new climate resilience project (worth ?11.4 million) funded by the European Union (EU) and to be implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) over the next four years.The project, entitled Increasing Climate Resilience of Pacific Small Islands States through the Global Climate Change Alliance, will support the governments of nine Pacific countries, namely Cook Islands, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Tonga and Tuvalu, in their efforts to tackle the adverse effects of climate change. These countries have been selected because of their particular vulnerability to these adverse effects due to their size and geophysical characteristics.
The project will promote the development of long term strategies and approaches to adaptation planning and it will pave the way for more effective and coordinated delivery of aid for climate change response at the national and regional level.
Pacific small island states presently have limited capacity to clearly articulate detailed adaptation strategies and successfully mainstream climate change aspects into their national and sector response strategies. They also lack the capacity to identify priority investment plans and timelines to respond to projected impacts in the key sectors vulnerable to climate change.
The project will therefore assist countries to develop more detailed climate change response strategies and investment plans and to integrate these into consistent overarching national climate change response frameworks. In addition, the project will also provide assistance to countries to help identify, design and implement practical on-the-ground climate change adaptation activities, in accordance with their established priorities. At least one concrete adaptation project will be implemented in each of the nine countries.
At the regional level, the project will strengthen the capacity of key regional organisations to deliver climate change related scientific, technical and information services to countries (for example, through the development of analytical tools and information exchange mechanisms) and it will reinforce regional mechanisms to better coordinate the flow of climate change funding in the Pacific. The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) will play an important role in this regard.
The project was officially launched today by Ms Fiona Ramsey, Chargée d'Affaires a.i. of the Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific and SPC Director-General Dr Jimmie Rodgers.
'With the billions that have been pledged globally for climate change adaptation and mitigation, this project will position Pacific small island states to access these funds and use them to ensure outcomes that meet their people's needs,' said Dr Rodgers.
'The project will help countries put in place climate change programmes and management arrangements that enable them to effectively absorb the increased flows of climate change finance that will be required to meet the future adaptation challenges they face.'
The project is funded in the framework of the Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA). The project will also help translate into action and take forward the objectives of the Pacific-EU Joint Initiative on Climate Change. This joint initiative aims to enhance the political dialogue on climate change between the EU and the Pacific region, in view of developing common understanding and joint responses in the international debate whenever possible. It also aims to improve the effectiveness of cooperation on climate change issues in the Pacific region and mobilise funding from the EU and other international partners for climate change response in Pacific Island countries.
The project is consistent with the objectives of the Pacific Islands Framework for Action on Climate Change (PIFACC).
EUis made up of 27 member states who have decided to gradually link together their know-how, resources and destinies. Together, during a period of enlargement of 50 years, they have built a zone of stability, democracy and sustainable development whilst maintaining cultural diversity, tolerance and individual freedoms. The European Union is committed to sharing its achievements and its values with countries and peoples beyond its borders.
SPCis a Pacific-based intergovernmental organisation that assists the Pacific Island countries and territories by delivering a wide range of technical, research, educational and planning services. It has 26 members comprising 22 Pacific Island countries and territories and four metropolitan members: Australia, France, New Zealand and the United States of America.
Caption: Kiribati is one of the nine Pacific small island states most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.