Durban, South Africa, 5 December 2011 - "We are very grateful to the Global Environment Facility, the Australian Government, the United Nations Development Programme and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme for the support that has especially been provided for the PACC Project."
Speaking at the Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change Side Event during the 17th Conference of Parties in Durban, South Africa, the Minister of Environment for Tuvalu Hon. Apisai Ielemia expressed gratitude on behalf of his country and the Pacific region for the support given by the agencies in helping them adapt to the impacts of climate change.
"For us in the Pacific, the Small Island Developing States, climate change is strongly undermining our social and economic state, climate change threatens our source of livelihood and our very existence.
"The PACC funding comes from the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) of the GEF and it has helped the Pacific region move from assessments to capacity development and above all actual implementation on the ground."
Tonga PACC National Coordinator Mr Paula Taufa said that through the PACC Project, the Hihifo community are able to address many of the challenges faced in their Water Resource Sector.
"With the PACC Project the reliability of the water supply will be significantly improved in six villages, the leakage ratio in pipelines will be reduced from the current 30-40 percentage range to 15 percentages, the salinity of underground water will be addressed and the efficiency of distribution of water will increased through this PACC Project.
"The adaptive capacity of the community will also increase and overall the water sector becomes more resilient to climate change."
In the Solomon Islands, the PACC pilot site community has shown appreciation towards the options made available to them after consultation.
"In terms of food security, the community can identify problems and solutions to be implemented with the communities and climate change policy has been developed which has helped improve coordination of the project," said Mr. Casper Supa, the National Coordinator from the Solomon Islands.
The National Management Unit in the Solomon Islands is using PACC to develop a longer term strategic and programmatic Vulnerability and Adaptation Plan for low lying atolls, and the lessons learnt contribute to the development of the national policy.
The Regional Project Management Unit continues to welcome other donors to use the PACC framework already in place in the member countries to carry out actual adaptation work on the ground.
"We have under the project fourteen Pacific Island Countries who are very new to the system, but we are building their capacity to take over the role of coordinating climate change adaptation efforts in their countries," said Taito Nakalevu the PACC Project Manager.
"We have the PACC Project Framework to be able to deliver adaptation right down to the community level under the GEF UNDP funding and with AusAID now on board, and there are other donors that are welcomed to use this framework to carry out actual adaptation work on the ground."
The PACC Project is implemented by UNDP in partnership with SPREP. It is funded by GEF and AusAID with support from the United Nations Institute of Training and Research.
More news and images from the UNFCCC COP17 in Durban available on the Climate Pasifika Blog.