01 September 2022, Nadi, Fiji – Countries benefitting from a project designed to improve regional, national adaptation and mitigation solutions to climate change took center stage on the second day of the European Union Intra-ACP GCCA+ Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change and Resilience Building (PACRES) Project Steering Committee Meeting.
The three-day gathering in Nadi is the first face-to-face meeting for the Steering Committee after the COVID-19 border lockdowns restricted the first two meetings to virtual sessions.
On Wednesday at Novotel’s Orchid Room, country representatives and Research and Community Officers (RCO) driving up scaling up pilot adaptation projects in Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, and Vanuatu shared their experiences on what has worked and what can be done better, as they work to combat the climate crisis.
Among the key points identified was the importance of partnerships between governments, communities and development partners. The buy-in from local communities especially in response to their needs was also highlighted.
Another key point noted across the board was the importance of capacity building, given the lessons from the COVID-19 lockdown where a lot of the work was dependent on local community members and consultants. Policy, planning, size and scale of activities and the importance of sustainability and building on existing initiatives were also identified as key lessons.
The Solomon Islands RCO for PACRES project, Ms Noella Dorevella, said building the capacity of local communities to address their own challenges has been a key benefit for them. “In doing this, the project is really empowering the communities to help and protect themselves against the impact of climate change and other environmental challenges they are facing,” she said.
Dr. John Duguman of Papua New Guinea echoed the sentiment and pointed to the importance of having the countries come together to share their experiences.
“From our standpoint, this is a very important project that is helping our people. We want to see how we can move it forward. We are happy to be here and we learn something new with every meeting.”
Launched in 2019, PACRES is delivered collaboratively by CROP Agencies – the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), the Pacific Community, the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and the University of the South Pacific, in close consultation with SPREP Member countries and Timor-Leste. It exists to ensure better regional and national adaptation and mitigation responses to climate change challenges faced by Pacific ACP countries.
The project also hopes to improve information sharing and develop national capacity to address climate change and build disaster resilience through enhanced training, studies and research opportunities.
The Steering Committee Meeting ends Thursday with the trialing of the Project’s online Ecosystem-based Adaptation tool.
PACRES aims to improve regional, national adaptation and mitigation solutions to climate change concerns faced in 15 Pacific ACP countries. The 15 Pacific ACP countries are: Cook Islands, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
The €12.18 million PACRES is funded primarily by the European Union (EU) with targeted support from Monaco and the Swiss Confederation and is delivered jointly by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programmme (SPREP), the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS), the Pacific Community (SPC) and the University of the South Pacific (USP).