Representing the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UNDP Solomon Islands Country Manager Azusa Kubota in her remarks said she is encouraged by the results of the Solomon Islands Water Sector Adaptation Project.
“As a result of the integrated water management and climate-informed approaches, three low lying islands — Taro, Tuwo, Santa Catalina — and Tigoa township have now achieved universal access to climate resilient, basic drinking water services,” she said.
“I remember church leaders in Taro told me how proud they were to be able to host large-scale church events and not to run out of water. A school teacher told me that in the past, the school had to be closed for weeks when they ran out of water.”
“Water brings joy and life to people, and many of you in this room must have seen and experienced it firsthand.”
Ms. Kubota also raised awareness on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 — clean water and sanitation — and called for investment in innovative, sustainable and climate-proof models.
“Sadly, the world is not on track to achieve the global SDG 6 targets by 2030 at the current rate of progress. The time to act on SDG 6 is now.”
“Sustainable management of water and sanitation underpins wider efforts to end poverty, advance sustainable development and sustain peace and stability. This means that regardless of the sectors one works for, we need to come together and work towards the SDGs.”
Efforts by government divisions, projects and organizations to address adaptation to climate change in the water sector were showcased during the National Water and Climate Change Forum.
As the event brought together key stakeholders, the Minister of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification, Honourable Bradley Tovosia, took the opportunity to launch the National Water Resource and Sanitation policy (WATSAN).
The policy, developed with technical support from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, will guide development of the country’s water and sanitation services.
Stakeholders who contributed lessons learnt and best practices in climate adaptation at the forum include the Water Resources Division, Climate Change Division, Rural Development Program, Solomon Water, Pacific Ecosystem-based Adaptation to Climate Project (PEBACC) Solomon Islands, Community Resilience to Climate and Disaster Risk in Solomon Islands Project (CRISP), Ecological Solutions Solomon Islands, and climate change journalist and Pacific Environment Journalist Network member Georgina Kekea.
The 2018 National Water and Climate Change Forum took place on November 28 and 29 at the Heritage Park Hotel in Honiara, Solomon Islands.
The Solomon Islands Water Sector Adaptation Project (SIWSAP) is a four-year climate change adaptation project financed by the GEF-managed Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) and implemented by the Solomon Islands Government and UNDP Solomon Islands. On the ground in six provinces, SIWSAP’s key objective is to improve the resilience of water resources to the impacts of climate change and improve health, sanitation and quality of life, so that livelihoods can be enhanced and sustained in the targeted vulnerable areas.
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