Thirty-three Engineering university students and five facilitators with the organisation Engineers Without Borders Australia (EWB) are in Samoa from 2 – 14 July on a Humanitarian Design Summit program study tour. They visited the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) on 4 July as one of the tour activities to learn more about Pacific environment challenges and solutions.
EWB aims to create social value through engineering and focusses on developing skills, knowledge and appropriate engineering solutions with targeted programs like the Humanitarian Design Summit. Aiming to help participants learn and develop an understanding of how technology and human-centred design can create positive change for communities, students and professionals are provided opportunities for work experience in a range of fields including with indigenous communities, study tours and professional placements.
During their visit to SPREP the students learnt more about climate change, adaptation, ocean acidification and the impact on Pacific island communities, and weather and climate meteorological services in the Pacific.
“We are guided by the Pacific, and climate change is one of the priorities that have been identified by Pacific island countries,” said Ms Tagaloa Cooper Halo, Director of Climate Change Resilience.
“As the leading agency on climate change, SPREP is mandated to coordinate climate change action in the region, and leads the regional response to climate impacts.”
Disaster preparedness, weather prediction and early warning systems, increasing Pacific islands’ access to climate finance, ocean acidification as a result of carbon emissions and the impacts on Pacific islands, are a few things the students learned about during the visit.
Students also received presentations on Ocean Acidification from Dr Robert Duncan McIntosh the SPREP Oceanography Officer, and from the Climate and Ocean Science Program for the Pacific (COSPPac) from Mr Philip Malsale SPREP’s COSPPac Climatology Officer and Ms Azarel Maiai SPREP’s COSPPac Capacity Development Officer.
For more information, or to enquire about a school or group visit to SPREP, please contact [email protected].