30 April, Suva, Fiji - The importance and relevance of Information and Knowledge Management (IKM) initiatives in advancing climate change and disaster resilience in the Pacific was discussed at a side event held in Suva, Fiji this week as part of the inaugural Pacific Resilience Meeting (PRM).
A dedicated event on how climate change and disaster IKM is currently coordinated nationally and regionally in the Pacific was convened, in an effort to bring together the clusters of IKM experts to discuss current operations across the region and how to capitalise on opportunities for stronger integration and cooperation.
“Information and Knowledge contributes significantly to informing decision making, behaviour change, and engagement people. How it is shared and managed is critical to the success of building a resilient pacific”. said Ms Tagaloa Cooper, the Climate Change Resilience Director of SPREP who opened the event alongside Ms Teea Tira, the Pacific Resilience Partnership Coordinator.
Opportunities and challenges in supporting IKM initiatives and activities at the national and regional level were identified and highlighted by the panel members from Solomon Islands, Tonga, the Pacific Community (SPC) and United Nations International Migration Organization.
“Ensuring appropriate enabling environment are established to address issues such as copyright, capacity development, resourcing, information sharing between the relevant ministries and setup of robust backup systems are critical components for sustainability of portals and information websites and tools at the national level” was the advice given by the Director for Climate Finance, Tonga Mr. Sione Fulivai.
The shift for more tailored information for sectors and communities to better plan and respond to climate change impacts and disaster was conveyed by Solomon Islands, Climate Change Director, Mr. Hudson Kauhiona in his panel presentation.
At the regional level, Pacific agencies are partnering to share data within centralised and catalogue systems as demonstrated by the Pacific Data Hub implemented by SPC in partnership with the , and the . This is a hub with a collection of technology and platforms to provide information and data for Pacific island countries to use.
Ms Tagaloa Cooper-Halo also recognised that “Sustainability of IKM initiatives is an ongoing challenge for the region. In response to this, one of the thematic areas of the Pacific Climate Change Centre (PCCC) is on information and knowledge management and brokerage”.
Noting these challenges and lessons learned, at the conclusion of the Side Event, participants requested for the PRP Taskforce to recognise the need for an IKM Technical Working Group to coordinate and provide strategic guidance for IKM initiatives and activities across the region.
In attendance were IKM experts and representatives of various agencies across the Pacific who are also attending the Pacific Resilience Meeting (PRM). The outcomes of the IKM event will inform the outcomes.
The side event was organised through a partnership between Pacific Community (SPC), Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and Pacific island countries. It was supported by the USAID funded ISACC Project and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade funded Pacific iCLIM Project.