17 March 2023, Koror Palau - The ACP GCCA+ Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change and Resilience Building (PACRES) Project team is continuing the work to improve regional, national adaptation and mitigation solutions to climate change in the Pacific region. They are in Palau this week for a two-fold mission.
The first part of the mission is to review the progress of the project in Palau, one of the countries where the €12 million European Union-funded project is making a tangible difference in the island nation’s fight to survive the climate crisis.
The work is being implemented by the Palau Office of Climate Change within the Ministry of Finance (MOF) – Bureau of Budget and Planning, with support from the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP). Palau’s Office of Climate Change has the mandate to mainstream climate change in national government plans and strategies, as well as coordinate, report, and advocate climate change efforts and priorities domestically, regionally, and internationally.
In line with this mandate, Palau developed its first national policy, Palau Climate Change Policy: For Climate and Disaster Resilient Low Emissions Development (PCCP) in 2015. The policy has been used as the basis for assessments, strategies, and plans including but not limited to the Climate Change in Palau: Indicators & Consideration for Key Sectors, the Koror-Babeldaob Island Resilient Urban Development Strategy and Action Plan and the National Disaster Risk Management Framework.
PACRES Manager, Mr Semi Qamese has been in consultation with Palau’s National Climate Change Coordinator and Palau Focal Point to the UNFCCC, Mr Xavier Matsutaro, on the successes, challenges and the next steps.
“The Palau Climate Change Policy is the official reference document when sharing climate change impacts faced and priority measures in Palau and is the basis for forming national positions in regional and international advocacy on matters related to climate change,” Mr Matsutaro said.
Climate change challenges, however, have escalated over the years thus the urgent need to review and revise the 2015 Climate Change Policy to reflect updated climate change information. The review is an output of the PACRES project, where regional and national climate change strategies and priorities correspond to Intra-ACP GGCCA+ priorities and serving the implementation of the Paris Agreement by Pacific.
“The outcome of the review should provide a comprehensive and complimentary policy basis and mandate for climate actions. It will describe Palau’s long-term mitigation and adaptation goals that needs to be undertaken to achieve them, and guide climate change actions at a national level,” Mr Qamese said. “This review will adequately implement climate related actions and a platform of mainstreaming climate change across all sectors in the country, such that it complements what is happening here in Palau this last few days.”
The second part of the mission in Palau involved participating during the GCCA+ SUPA 2023 Steering Committee Meeting and Lessons Learnt Meeting held at the West Plaza Hotel in Koror. Evidently the synergies exist with activities in countries where both projects support under the EU GCCA+ component and are being explored and strengthened.
The four-and-a-half-year GCCA+SUPA project funded with € 14.89 million from the European Union (EU) is about scaling up climate change adaptation (CCA) measures in specific sectors supported by knowledge management and capacity building. SPREP led with the development of an impact analysis methodology with a suite of tools tailored for the Pacific when tracking our adaptation footprint in select sectors: coastal protection, freshwater security, marine resources management and resilient agriculture.
“With the participation of PACRES officers' during the Impact Analysis Tools' orientation and the regional impacts methodology training organised by the GCCA+SUPA held in Fiji last November, the learning exchange resulted in follow up sessions on data profiling of activities essential to framing the review of impacts to people and the environment,” said Mr Qamese.
SPREP’s Impacts Analysis Adviser, Ms Monifa Fiu highlighted the importance of exploring the synergies between the projects.
“The impact methodology is tailored for the Pacific to examine the residual impacts of climate actions, thus expanding the reach when advocating for this impact methodology,” she said.
PACRES aims to improve regional, national adaptation and mitigation solutions to climate change concerns. The 15 Pacific ACP countries covered by the project are 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.