A week of climate change training led by SPREP

Pacific negotiators, senior officials and government ministers are taking part in a week of different training events hosted in Apia, Samoa.

Coordinated by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme in collaboration with partners, these events are targeted towards the 19th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention Climate Change from 11 to 22 November.

Hon. Faamoetauloa Lealaiauloto Taito Dr Faale Tumaalii Minister of Natural Resources and Environment

The week began with a one day media and communications training for senior officials on 15 October, supported by the British High Commission Suva.

This is followed by a two day High Level Workshop for Pacific Ministers and Senior Officials on 16 and 17 October in partnership with Climate Analytics, Charles and Associates and the Caribbean Climate Change Centre.

The week of events ends with a one day planning meeting for Senior Officials on 18 October to help strengthen understanding of the different negotiation threads at the UNFCCC COP 19 funded by the German Embassy.

"SPREP as the lead coordination agency in the region for climate change has carried out preparatory meetings and negotiations training for Pacific Island Countries over many years. These trainings and briefings are critical and required to be carried out each year, and we are now more articulate," presented Hon. Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, Prime Minister of Samoa as he opened the high level segment of the training in Apia.
The direct financial and technical support from SPREP to Pacific Island Members has more than doubled over the last few years.

"As the Pacific environmental challenges increases, so does our role and we intend to strengthen the technical and scientific guidance we provide our island member countries at all levels – national, regional and international," said Mr. David Sheppard, Director-General of SPREP.

Climate change is the leading issue for Pacific islands, including Tuvalu where the term climate change is a common household term as the impacts reach many in their community. This year the island nation may have a delegation of 15 attending the UNFCCC COP 19.

99Hon. Tukelina Finikaso, Minister of Tuvalu Foreign Affairs, Trade, Tourism, Environment and Labour

"The whole of the country in Tuvalu knows climate change, from children right up to the adults, they know the threats and we actually see them back home, it's a big worry to us," said Hon. Tukelina Finikaso, Minister of Tuvalu for Foreign Affairs, Trade, Tourism, Environment and Labour.

"We see these trainings as a positive step, it brings us together right now before the Conference of the Parties so we can come together to pool our strengths to address this threat to all Pacific Islands."

Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu are represented at the week of training that began on 15 October and ends 18 October.

For more information please contact Mr. Espen Ronneberg SPREP's Climate Change Adviser  or Ms. Diane McFadzien SPREP's Climate Change Adaptation Adviser at Dianem@sprep.org.
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