20 April 2023, Suva, Fiji - Whether it is providing water tanks for villages in Papua New Guinea (PNG), tree planting on the Tagabe riverbank in Vanuatu to ensure steady supply of freshwater for communities there or providing support for climate change negotiations in the implementation of the Paris Agreement, the progress of a project to improve regional, national adaptation and mitigation solutions to climate change concerns was commended during a meeting in Fiji.
The project is the European Union-funded Intra-ACP GCCA+ Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change and Resilience Building (PACRES) which serves communities in 15 Pacific countries, namely the Cook Islands, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Kiribati, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
Last week in Fiji, the PACRES Partners and Technical Coordination Meeting held at the EU building in Suva, on 13 April 2023, discussed the work since its inception. The discussion focused on the implementation of a variety of climate-resilient measures such as the installation of water tanks, as well as notable PACRES project impacts such as regional support for climate change negotiations.
The project has also helped to review and develop regional climate change policies and priorities, as was the case in Palau, which is critical in ensuring that countries are better prepared to deal with the effects of climate change.
Also noted was the expansion of pilot adaptation projects in five countries including Papua New Guinea, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Timor Leste, and Vanuatu. This has helped to build local resilience and identify best practices that can be replicated elsewhere in the region.
The European Union Programme Manager - Climate Change and Human Mobility, Mr Gabor Sasvari, recognised the significant progress made since the project's last Partners and Technical Coordination Meeting.
“The work and the progress made has been noted by the European Union and we want to commend everyone involved. I would like encourage that this good work continues,” said Mr Sasvari.
“The European Union remains committed and will continue to support climate change adaptation in the Pacific and to coordinate and partner with the CROP agencies to deliver concrete results in line with the strategies elaborated by the Pacific leaders and your governments.”
PACRES also focused on strengthening knowledge sharing and information dissemination to address climate change. This has been done through capacity building, research, and innovation, both in the formal and informal education settings. The strengthening of private and public sector engagement is also a key part of the project's approach to building resilience in the region.
PACRES Project Manager, Mr. Semi Qamese said: “It's great to hear that the PACRES project has had a positive impact in the 15 countries you work in. The collaborative effort between PIFS, SPC, SPREP, USP, and donors has enabled the project to contribute to building resilience in the region through a range of interventions.”
The PACRES project will have its last Project Steering Committee Meeting workshop from 31 July – 4 August 2023, in Nadi, Fiji where it will bring together PACRES country representatives and partners to discuss the region’s progress and lessons learned during the PACRES projects.
The €12.18 million PACRES is funded primarily by the European Union with targeted support from the Swiss Confederation and the Principality of Monaco and is delivered jointly by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programnme (SPREP), the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS), the Pacific Community (SPC) and the University of the South Pacific (USP).