A database to assess the impact of past climate change adaptation actions in the Pacific, has been launched this week in Lautoka, Fiji. The launch of the Impact Analysis Adaptation Database is the final activity for the Impacts Analysis Methodology training hosted by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) under the European Union (EU) funded GCCA+ Scaling Up Pacific Adaptation (SUPA) Project.
The launch is a three-day programme, from 28 – 30 November 2022, facilitated by Engineered IT and the Information Technology Department of SPREP. The programme provides participants with a hands-on style of training to understand the database and its function to allow for optimum utilisation in each country and territory when examining for the desired impact of climate actions.
Director for the Climate Change Resilience Programme for SPREP, Ms Tagaloa Cooper-Halo delivered the opening remarks for the launch. She highlighted the importance of the impacts methodology and the database for SPREP Member countries. “Assessing the past to inform the future is what we must do in the Pacific region, it is imperative. If we do not do that, we do not implement good adaptation and we run the risk of being unable to access climate finance which is so important for Pacific resilience”, Ms Cooper-Halo says. She further encouraged the participants to utilise the methodology, resources, and experts at the training “learning from the past will enable you to plan your projects and interventions in your countries that will have long lasting sustainability”.
As part of the Impacts Analysis Methodology training, participants were split into groups for field trips, where they visited Nacula Island in the Yasawa group, Vatutavui village, Fiji Meteorological Service and Bula Agro Enterprises. From these field visits, participants made observations with use of discussed tools such as the checklist, public poll and focus group questions to guide the interaction with people in the village community as means to collect data. During the database launch, participants utilised the data they have collected during their field visits, thus providing them with real-time application of data into the database. Of course, for most proceeded to begin input on their profiled country level data.
Participants will reap the full benefits of the training, as sessions will cover the basics in Microsoft Access, databases and database language. From the basics, participants will learn database applications and important functions like linking to spatial data. After the formal sessions, the training facilitators will be on hand for one-on-one sessions with participants if needed.
Program Manager for the Palau Conservation Society, Ms Umai Basilius shares her experiences in participating in the methodology and database training, “part of our developmental growth as a country, is building and strengthening our institutions for good governance. These processes and tools allow us to have tangible mechanisms for which we can have that. Having the database online also allows for strengthening of capacity among our practitioners to ensure continuity and knowledge is not lost when staff move on”. Ms Basilius highlights the importance of having Non-government Organisations (NGO) be a part of the training programme, “NGO’s are really active on the ground, building our capacity in using the Impact Analysis Methodology and the database allows us to determine our adaptation pathways and measure the efficacy of our adaptation actions. It also expands partnerships between SPREP, government and non-government agencies.”
Mr Siitia Maheu from Tuvalu’s Department of Climate Change expressed his gratitude in being a part of the training, “the programme is comprehensive and is useful to measure the impacts of past projects on whether they fulfilled their objectives or not. I also found the session on creating and managing a GIS Database useful for assessing project impact. This will be useful to our work on climate change adaptations and intentions at home”. On the database launch he says, “going through the functions of the database as a group was helpful as it identified areas which need to be reflected and require more information and having the experts on hand helped us to address these issues in real-time”.
The database launch will end on 30 November with awarding of certificates to those who have completed the 9 day training at the closing programme.
The Impact Analysis Adaptation Database is hosted at the Pacific Climate Change Portal and is part of SPREP’s efforts through EU- funded GCCA+ SUPA Project to support capacity building and knowledge management services to its Member countries.
The Global Climate Change Alliance Plus Scaling up Pacific Adaptation (GCCA+ SUPA) is about scaling up climate change adaptation measures in specific sectors supported through knowledge management and capacity building.
The 4.5-year project (2019-2023) is funded with € 14.89 million from the European Union (EU) and implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC) in partnership with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and The University of the South Pacific (USP), in collaboration with the governments and peoples of Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Tonga and Tuvalu.