Wednesday, November 14 2012 00:00
NOUMEA, New Caledonia (Secretariat of the Pacific Community) — Regional government delegates meeting in Noumea this week at the headquarters of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community will discuss the new approaches to climate change adaptation that the organization is using to assist Pacific Island countries and territories tackle the 21st century challenge.
A Secretariat of the Pacific Community staff member carries out a survey of barrier reef topography on Saipan. SPC photo
“Climate change is projected to increase the frequency and severity of natural disasters, and affect infrastructure, transport, marine ecosystems, agricultural food production and health, as well as access to safe drinking water,” says Dr. Jimmie Rodgers, SPC director-general.
SPC is taking a cross-cutting approach to climate change adaptation, recognizing that tackling just one aspect of an issue is unlikely to lead to long-term sustainable solutions.
For example, a “ridge-to-reef” approach being implemented in Choiseul Province, Solomon Islands, combines work across several sectors, including agriculture, forestry, water, infrastructure, fisheries and health, together with the efforts of landowning communities, the government, other development partners and regional agencies.
Another project the organization is implementing in Vava’u, Tonga, integrates land-based water management elements with coastal zone management and near-shore fisheries.
To work effectively, this approach needs commitment from national-level stakeholders and willingness on the part of government ministries and communities to work together. The organization is also working with countries and development partners to design and implement integrated, “one team” methods.
The 42nd Committee of Representatives of Governments and Administrations, the annual meeting of SPC’s governing body, is being held from Nov. 12 at its headquarters in Noumea.
SPC is a Pacific-based international intergovernmental organization that assists Pacific Islands countries and territories by delivering a wide range of technical, research, educational and planning services. It has 26 members comprising 22 Pacific Islands countries and territories and four metropolitan members, Australia, France, New Zealand and the U.S.