Linking the right people to the right climate change interventions

Tonga Daily News:

Thursday, 09 October 2014

Suva-October 9: 10.32 (SPREP/TDN): A new programme designed to link technical experts working in the field of climate change and disaster risk management to the countries and projects that need them most was highlighted at the 25th Annual Meeting of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme in Majuro, Marshall Islands last week.

Housed within the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience’s Regional Technical Support Mechanism (RTSM) provides an online portal through which technical experts can register their skills, and eligible countries can request technical assistance to support climate and disaster-related priorities in the Pacific region.

Crucially, within the RTSM is an associated Rapid Response Fund (RRF) which finances the deployment of experts to provide technical assistance for Pacific island countries eligible under this initiative.

Funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the RTSM and RRF is a collaborative undertaking of all agencies in the Pacific Council of Regional Organisations and their associated development partners and donors.

Speaking at the special side event, Dr Netatua Pelesikoti, SPREP’s Director of Climate Change, talked about the variety of ways that the RTSM and associated RRF can benefit Pacific island countries and territories:

“The RTSM can provide technical assistance in a range of different areas from developing project concepts, training and writing proposals through to direct hands-on project assessments or planning – such as provision of civil engineers for projects designed to climate proof infrastructure,” she said.

“Best of all, the interventions are designed to be rapid, with the aim of progressing requests for support within a three month period. It is an excellent model of coordination and collaboration by all regional agencies and development partners and donors involved.”

At last week’s event, more than 60 participants were introduced to the RTSM website and shown how to register as an expert and request technical assistance online.

Ms Satui Bentin, the RTSM Coordinator, was pleased with the enthusiastic reception from regional agencies and SPREP member representatives.

“Immediately after the event we had four new individuals register as technical experts as well as an additional four queries around requesting technical assistance. This is a very encouraging response for this very new model of support and we look forward to receiving even more registrations, most especially from experts with Pacific island experience, and applications from member countries over the coming months.”

Ms Bentin explains that interested individuals with proven experience in developing and implementing climate change related projects in the Pacific region are invited to register with the RTSM. Applications for support from eligible countries are also warmly welcomed.

SPREP is the lead implementing agency for this regional initiative, which is supported by Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Deutsche GesellschaftfürInternationaleZusammenarbeit (GIZ), the University of the South Pacific, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Forum Fisheries Agency and the South Pacific Tourism Organisation, under the guidance of the Council of Regional Organisations of the Pacific Executives Subcommittee on Climate Change and Disaster Resilient Development (CES-CCRD).

Read story: Tonga Daily News

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