Resilience building in Wallis and Futuna is being strengthened by various projects coordinated by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP). Support for biodiversity conservation, nature-based solutions for climate change adaptation, waste management and invasive species management are addresed by three projects led by the Wallis and Futuna Territorial Environment Service (STE).
These projects are SWAP (Committing to Sustainable Waste Actions in the Pacific) funded by Agence française de développement (AFD), PROTEGE funded by the European Union (EU) and Pacific Ecosystem-Based Adaptation to Climate Change Phase 2 (PEBACC+) funded by the Kiwa Initiative and the French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM).
Work to build effective coordination and implementation across the three different projects was the focus of a mission to Wallis and Futuna by SPREP in April. To help catalyse this, meetings were held with His Majesty Lavelua King of Wallis, the Vice-President of the Territorial Assembly, the Prefect and Superior Administrator of Wallis and Futuna. Progress of the three projects was presented, followed by discussions on the proposed next steps and priorities to be addressed. Approvals were also sought for the implementation of the different activities of the three projects.
The team visited the Nukuatea islets to see the pig trapping that STE has been implementing for the past two years through the PROTEGE project. Under this activity 81 wild pigs, which are a destructiveinvasive species, have been removed. The remaining pigs will be removed through further trapping and hunting.
The SWAP project was invited to meet local actors who conducted beach clean-ups on the 2021 and 2022 Coastal Clean-up Days. This included a class at the Mua Lavegahua College and A Vaka Heke paddling association. SWAP Coordinator, Julie Pillet also visited the landfill and recycling plant for Wallis and met stakeholders involved in the future metal waste recycling plant expected to be completed sometime next year.
“When it comes to building a resilient, sustainable Pacific all environment issues must work together – they all interlink. We cannot fix one environmental issue without seeing continued impacts happening to the other,” said Ms Julie Pillet.
This was the first in-country visit for the PEBACC+ and SWAP projects and was an important milestone to set priorities and engage with partners. Working meetings for the PEBACC+ project were dedicated to identifying activities for nature-based solutions that meet the territory’s priorities to strengthen climate resilience of ecosystems and local livelihoods.
“Having the opportunity to undertake site visits during our first in-country visit was an important milestone for us to engage with partners and confirm project priorities”, said Mr Nicolas Rocle, SPREP Coastal and Marine Management Specialist.
For the PROTEGE project this was the opportunity to continue collaboration with local partners and to deliver the “Battler of the year 2021” award to the Wallis and Futuna invasives team. Wallis and Futuna was awarded the prize in 2021 following success in managing invasive weeds and animals with very limited support due to travel restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“SPREP acknowledges the partnership with STE and their successful implementation of projects now underway” said Mr Rocle, and we look forward to continued collaboration with them and all partners in Wallis and Futuna in their efforts towards a more resilient and sustainable environment”.
The SPREP delegation visited Wallis and Futuna from 17 – 24 April 2023.
For further information please contact Nicolas Rocle, [email protected].
PROTEGE (“Pacific Territories Regional Project for Sustainable Ecosystem Management” or “protect” in French) is an initiative designed to promote sustainable and climate-change-resilient economic development in the European Pacific overseas countries and territories by emphasising biodiversity and renewable resources. PROTEGE is a regional cooperation project that supports the public policies of the four Pacific OCTs - New Caledonia, French Polynesia, Wallis & Futuna and Pitcairn. It spans four years to the value of EUR 36 million from the European Development Fund’s regional budget along with co-funding of some EUR 128,000 from the three French territories. https://protege.spc.int/en
The Pacific Ecosystem-based Adaptation to Climate Change – PEBACC+ is a regional project of the Kiwa Initiative and SPREP has been granted €4M by the Kiwa Initiative through the Agence française de développement and €1,8M by the French Facility for Global Environment for its implementation. This four-year project seeks to strengthen the resilience of ecosystems, economies and people in Fiji, New Caledonia, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and Wallis and Futuna to the impacts of climate change. PEBACC+ aims to develop, sustain and institutionalise the ecosystem-based approach to climate change adaptation in the target countries and territories. https://www.sprep.org/pebacc
The EURO 3 million SWAP Project funded through the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) is implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) by virtue of an Agreement signed in 2020. The project aims to improve sanitation, environmental, social, and economic conditions in Pacific Island countries and territories through proper waste management. Committing to Sustainable Waste Actions in the Pacific (SWAP) | Pacific Environment (sprep.org)