6 December, 2019, Madrid, Spain – A response to the growing needs of the Pacific islands region has brought together the Governments of Japan and Samoa through the successful establishment of the Pacific Climate Change Centre (PCCC). This was the focus of a side event titled, “Towards Enhancing Climate Resilience in the Pacific: Increasing capacity-building opportunities for the private sector”, held today at the Twenty-fifth Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP25) in Madrid, Spain.
Officially opened in September of this year in Samoa, at the headquarters of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), the PCCC supports the Pacific’s regional efforts for tackling climate change and building resilience and adaptation of its islands and people.
It is the embodiment of Japan’s commitment to the Pacific and is the region’s centre of excellence for climate change information, research and innovation.
Senior Deputy Director General, Global Environment Department of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Mr Hiromichi Murakami said in his opening remarks, “the Pacific islands are extremely vulnerable to climate change, and mitigation of vulnerabilities is one of the major challenges facing the region. It has been Japan’s intention to provide comprehensive assistance to the region, which includes the construction of the Pacific Climate Change Centre, as well as the human resource development the centre will provide.”
The PCCC will enable the development of government and project staff to participate in trainings annually.
“Our main target of support has been the public sector, but it also is necessary to involve the private sector more in order to improve climate resilience and adaptation. It is very important to share the precious knowledge and experiences for successful capacity building for private sector to strengthen climate resilience,” said Mr Murakami.
Despite having only opened a few months ago, the centre is already a revered and highly valued resource for Pacific islands. Hon. Dalton Tagelagi, Minister of Infrastructure for Niue touched on the importance of the centre in addressing the needs at the national level.
“I think the Pacific Climate Change Centre will help us all understand our challenges in the Pacific a lot more, as well as provide us with solutions and actions we can take to address them,” said Hon. Tagelagi.
“Traditional knowledge is also a key area that we hope to see featured in the Pacific Climate Change Centre more, as we are finding in Niue that we are now looking back to things we did in the past to help us deal with our issues at the moment when it comes to climate change.”
The PCCC will promote and advance applied research in the region, driving innovation and capacity building, and improving practical information sharing between national met services, climate practitioners, policy makers, researchers, scientists and those implementing policies, programmes and projects. It will also provide a space for visiting researchers and experts to work from the PCCC, providing support that will benefit Pacific island countries and territories, and bring together partners to find innovative solutions to climate change.
Dr. Melchior Mataki, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology of Solomon Islands said, “The Pacific Climate Change Centre is an initiative which the region requested based on our specific needs. The intention in its establishment was to have it be the centre of excellence in terms of bringing specialised trainings, research, to be receive guidance from not only SPREP but to bring in the expertise within all the CROP agencies as well such as the University of the South Pacific, the Pacific Community, the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and other regional and international agencies.”
“We now have a home base for dealing with climate change and this is why the PCCC is important for the Pacific islands, and has been created at a great time.”
Representing SPREP at the, Ms Tagaloa Cooper, Director of Climate Change Resilience Programme of SPREP thanked the Governments of Japan and Samoa.
“This centre of excellence was made possible through the great generosity of the Government of Japan, and also the Government of Samoa with additional support from the government of New Zealand for personnel. On behalf of the Director General and the Secretariat, I would like to acknowledge and commend both Japan and Samoa for this truly valuable resource you have made possible for the Pacific region.”
The centre was made possible through the partnership between the Governments of Japan and Samoa, and was funded under grant aid. Samoa is the host country of SPREP.
The UNFCCC COP25 is held in Madrid, Spain from 2 to 13 December, 2019.