Submitted by admin on Thu, 12/17/2015 - 21:18
December 17, 2015 by admin
Climate Change Resilience
"The air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, are all dependent on the goods and services that ecosystems provide," acknowledged Tui Macuata, Ratu Wiliame Katonivere at the two day inception workshop hosted in Fiji for the Pacific Ecosystem-based Adaptation to Climate Change (PEBACC) Project.

Ecosystem-based Adaptation also known as EbA uses 'natural solutions' to reduce vulnerability and build resilience by maintaining the services provided by ecosystems.

The five year project funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) under its International Climate Initiative (IKI), will work to strengthen ecosystems to help adapt to the impacts of climate change in Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

Implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the governments of Fiji, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands, the inception workshop brought over 50 participants together to pave the way forward for the activities to be carried out in Fiji in the Macuata Province and Tavenui Island.

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"Climate Change poses a serious threat to our current and future well-being and quality of life. Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) builds on the fact that ecosystems are the foundation of life-support systems on Earth – without healthy and intact ecosystems, our quality of life on Earth will deteriorate significantly," presented Tui Macuata, Ratu Wiliame Katonivere.

The overall intended outcome of the PEBACC project is to integrate EbA into development, climate change adaptation responses, natural resource management policy and planning processes in Fiji, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands providing replicable models for other countries in the region.

"It is important to note that many of our ecosystems are currently threatened by both climate change as well as non-climate change factors such as habitat transformation and pollution. Any approach to protecting and restoring critical ecosystem services will need to focus on both sets of threats," said Mr. Herman Timmermans, the PEBACC Project Manager.

Mr Peter Forau – Director General of the Melanesian Spearhead Group, who attended the workshop attested to the significant damage to ecosystems that is resulting from uncontrolled mining and forestry.

"What will happen to us once our forests disappear? How will we sustain the revenue and services that they generate?"

He said he hoped the project would support afforestation and other options to better manage ecosystems sustainably. Mr Forau encouraged the three participating governments to actively support the project for the benefit of people and in particular the rural communities.

The inception workshop provided a forum for organisations working in climate change related fields to share information and explore possibilities for collaboration and coordination. It included a fieldtrip to MySuva Park hosted by the Suva City Council during which participants were able to view an example of integrated foreshore management first hand.

In labeling the workshop a success, the Director of the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Management Division at SPREP – Mr Stuart Chape said: "the engagement of government partners from the three participating countries was excellent, as were the valuable contributions by the Fiji MFAT Climate Change Division and the Department of Environment in organising and running the meeting in collaboration with SPREP."

The two day inception workshop took place at the Novotel Hotel in Lami on 10 – 11 December, 2015. The project will take place in the Macuata Province and Taveuni Island in Fiji, Choiseul Province in Solomon Islands, and Port Vila and Tanna Island in Vanuatu.

For more information please contact Mr. Herman Timmermans at [email protected]