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Climate Change Resilience

08 September 2022, Apia Samoa - Practitioners working to strengthen the resilience of health systems in the Pacific have benefitted from the wisdom of one of the Pacific region’s most respected leaders. 

Sir Collin Tukuitonga, Knight of Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit and Associate Dean Pacific and Associate Professor of the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, shared his views on barriers, opportunities, and lessons learned in implementing climate action in the Pacific, including ways to build back better from COVID-19, during a Pacific Climate Change Centre (PCCC) virtual talanoa dialogue on 6 September 2022. 

The talanoa is a powerful sharing tool in the Pacific and PCCC was honored to host Sir Collin. It was part of the execution of the 12th executive training course delivered by the PCCC on “Health Systems and Climate Change: Enhancing Resilient and Low-carbon Development in the Pacific” 29 August – 6 October 2022. 

“If you have not developed an explicit policy on health impacts of climate crisis, I would encourage you to talk to your leaders about developing one for your country because it articulates and enables a conversation with the various people in your home country,” Sir Collin said.

“What are the likely health impacts that you need to address? There's a theoretical discussion that dengue will spread and affect more places, so the question is ‘does that apply to your country?’. In other words, to move from the broad and general to the specifics and the priorities that apply in your country, and there's some material around in terms of helping you to craft something that might be useful and relevant for yourselves. But the answers are within you all, and it's important to recognise that and make a start.”

SPREP’s Director General and PCCC Champion, Mr Sefanaia Nawadra, said it was a privilege for the participants to learn from the wisdom of Sir Collin.

“When we start to explore the nexus between health and climate change, I think you will be amazed at the range of issues and aspects that we need to look at, not only physical infrastructure but food security and nutrition, the farming practices, and the lifestyle that we practice. These are issues that I know Sir Collin is very experienced in. I look forward, like you, to learning from his experiences,” Mr Nawadra said.

Moving forward, the participants of the 12th executive training course will further discuss climate science and adaptation and mitigation options before conducting the exercise to develop a climate-related project concept using a logical framework based on the knowledge gained through the online lectures.

The training is virtually delivered by the PCCC under the Project for Capacity Building on Climate Resilience in the Pacific (CBCRP-PCCC) in partnership with the Government of Samoa and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The training has also been supported by partners and stakeholders, including WHO, SPC, USP, the University of Washington, the University of Notre Damme, the University of Gothenburg, and the University of Melbourne.

For further information on the training courses delivered through this project, please contact [email protected]