SPREP Signs Host Country Agreement with Fiji

13 June 2016, Suva, Fiji - The Government of Fiji and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) today signed a Host Country Agreement, formalising the establishment of a SPREP office in Fiji. Minister for Foreign Affairs Ratu Inoke Kubuabola and SPREP Director General Kosi Latu signed the agreement in Suva today.

Minister Kubuabola said the signing marked a new chapter in the partnership between the Fijian Government and SPREP. Minister Kubuabola said the Government of Fiji was committed to its obligations towards regional organisations such as SPREP. He said the signing of the agreement was a testament to that.

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L-R Mr. Kosi Latu, Director General of SPREP, upon signing the Host Country Agreement with
Government of Fiji's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Ratu Inoke Kubuabola 

This office hosts the Pacific Ecosystem-based Adaptation to Climate Change (PEBACC) project which focusses on strengthening and protecting the role of natural ecosystem services to enhance resilience with activities in Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. The 5-year project which began last year is funded by the German Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) and is implemented by SPREP in partnership with the governments of Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

The office in Suva supports the three-country project, and complements the field offices in the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. Fiji-based staff includes the PEBACC project manager, national project officer, communications officer, and finance and administration officer.

"This is a special occasion for SPREP and our members as we work with our Pacific islands to enhance their natural solutions to build resilience against the impacts of climate change,' said Mr. Kosi Latu, Director General of SPREP.

"We are very grateful to the Government of Fiji for their support and belief in our work by hosting our office and staff as we aim to provide quality based assistance to our island member countries, working together to help protect and conserve our unique Pacific environment and her people."

The Fiji component of the project is gearing up to conduct Ecosystem and Socio-economic Resilience Analysis and Mappings (ESRAM) at the project sites of Macuata Province and Taveuni Island.

ESRAMS will facilitate a deeper understanding of resilience and vulnerability by focusing on the inter-connectedness between social and ecological systems and how these are being impacted by climate and non-climate drivers. The results will inform the identification of options for using ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) approaches in building resilience to climate change. Options will be costed and prioritised using tools such as Cost Benefit Analysis.

The project will assist in the implementation of selected EbA activities to demonstrate the value of EbA approaches to adaptation. This will be complemented by awareness raising, capacity building and policy integration.

The ESRAMs will be conducted by Watershed Professionals Network (WPN) – a multidisciplinary team of scientists - who are teaming up with locally based cultural expert Simione Tuimalega. National government counterparts in Fiji include the Ministry of Finance, Climate Change Division and the Ministry of Local Government, Housing, Environment, Infrastructure and Transport.

For more information please contact Mr. Herman Timmermans, PEBACC Project Manager at hermant@sprep.org
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