Suva, Fiji – Focusing on solutions that will ensure the inclusion and active participation of women, youth, and marginalized groups and enabling them to design and implement risk management strategies effectively was one of the key messages at the Climate Security Project inception workshop held in Suva recently.
In his opening address, Levan Bouadze, UN Development Programme (UNDP) Pacific Office in Fiji Resident Representative thanked the UN Secretary General's Peacebuilding Fund for its commitment to enhancing climate-security in the region and stressed the importance of taking immediate actions to tackle the human security risks associated with climate change.
Bouadze stated, “This project can represent the example to be adopted to overcome the climate-security challenge and take decisive climate action to secure a peaceful and sustainable future.”
He added, “The project was designed to help set the direction on climate-security risk management for the Pacific region and support the Pacific's governments to continue increasing the advocacy and present climate change as the most significant security threat for our region's countries.”
Salvatore Sortino, International Organization for Migration (IOM) Chief of Mission in FSM, RMI and Tuvalu also gave a welcome remark, saying that “for low-lying atoll nations in the Pacific, climate change represents an existential threat.”
He emphasized, “The Climate Security Project will take into considerations gender dimensions and the needs of vulnerable groups like migrants and youth, allowing solid plans to be developed at the ground level and initiatives to be piloted at the community level. Eventually, the initiative will enhance the visibility of climate-security challenges of Pacific islands not just regionally but globally.”
“By bringing country leadership, development partners and different actors together, the workshop is the foundation for a strong cooperation which will be essential for the success of this project,” added Sortino.
The inception workshop continued with the presentation of the project implementation structure and framework by UNDP Resilience and Sustainable Development Team Leader a.i. Winifereti Nainoca, who highlighted the climate security issues for Pacific SIDS and the results that the project aims to achieve, including the increased ability to build resilience and respond to climate security threats.
The Climate Security Project aims to create a common understanding of the project objectives and implementation and clarifying roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder in the implementation of the initiative. Organized by UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji, the one-day workshop was attended by government stakeholders of Tuvalu, the Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI), the Republic of Kiribati, the UN Resident Coordinators Office (UN RCO), IOM and UNDP.
The Climate Security Project in the Pacific, launched in September 2020, is funded by the UN Secretary-General’s Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) and implemented by UNDP, with IOM being responsible for the project implementation in RMI. The project’s goal is to work is in synergy with the governments of Kiribati, the Marshall Islands and Tuvalu and in partnership with regional stakeholders, including the Coalition of Low Lying Atoll Nations on Climate Change (CANCC) and the Council of Regional Organisations in the Pacific (CROP) to assess, monitor and coordinate actions on reducing the impacts of critical climate security risks that are emerging in the Pacific region.
Climate Security Project Manager, Martin F. Ras, presented the work plan, providing a detailed explanation of the activities planned in the first and second year. Moreover, Ras explored and shared with the stakeholders a list of potential partners that can positively contribute to the project. Finally, an in-depth review of the project outcomes has been provided, with a particular focus on milestones and indicators.
The event was an essential milestone for the project and allowed for the renewal of a strong commitment of all stakeholders to implement this critical project. It allowed and assisted all stakeholders in understanding and taking ownership of the project's goals and objectives, defining roles and responsibilities, and start working together to implement this project towards successful completion.