By Pacific Island Times News Staff
Noumea (SPC)-- The Pacific Community (SPC) has signed funding agreements with the Adaptation Fund for $18 million for two new projects in Nauru and Papua New Guinea.
The "Resilient Coastal Fisheries and Aquaculture" project in Nauru and the "Adaptation of Small-Scale Agriculture for Improved Food Security of Resilient Communities" project in PNG both focus on climate action with local communities.
These national initiatives, supported by SPC and approved during the 40th meeting of the Adaptation Fund Board in March, will take an integrated approach to natural resource management for greater sustainability of fisheries and agricultural value chains through adopting climate-resilient practices.
Climate change presents serious challenges to development in Pacific island countries, which face severe threats such as droughts, heat waves, coastal erosion, ocean acidification and sea level rise.
As climate change continues to impact local communities, countries such as Nauru and PNG will need greater investment in resilience-building measures as well as targeted capacity-building to implement climate adaptation projects.
"The Resilient Coastal Fisheries and Aquaculture project will address long-standing barriers that hamper the implementation of adaptation solutions in the coastal fisheries and aquaculture sector," said Berilyn Jeremiah, secretary for Environmental Management and Agriculture and Nauru’s designated authority to the Adaptation Fund.
"This approval is a significant milestone as it is the first time that Nauru has accessed the AF and I wish to thank SPC for its support through the process," Jeremiah added.
In PNG, the Adaptation of Small-Scale Agriculture for Improved Food Security of Resilient Communities project will promote integrated approaches to sustainable, climate-resilient land use practices.
It will strengthen value chains to increase the profitability of climate-resilient agricultural production methods, in turn enhancing the resilience of vulnerable populations.
In the Pacific region, climate change risks must be systematically considered in development planning at all levels to reduce vulnerability.
However, investment costs for adaptation are disproportionately high in Pacific island countries and territories due to their remote locations and highly dispersed geographies.
Climate impacts also take a heavy toll on government resources, with millions of dollars spent on disaster preparedness, response and recovery. Consequently, securing external finance is critical to supplement Pacific governments’ investments in adaptation and resilience building.
“SPC has been accredited as a Regional Implementing Entity to the AF since 2021. Through the approval of these two projects – SPC’s first-ever with the Adaptation Fund – we are proud to support the governments of Nauru and PNG in accessing climate finance and shaping a resilient Blue Pacific future together”, said Stuart Minchin, SPC director general.
“Furthermore, we are grateful to our partners and particularly New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade for the support that made these achievements possible.”