Australian Minister announces AU$2.5 million in climate change investments for SPREP

A tour of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) was on the itinerary for Australian Minister of International Development and the Pacific, Senator the Hon. Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, and her Australian delegation while in Samoa on 22-23 August.

"It is a great pleasure to welcome you to Samoa, and especially to our SPREP campus," said Director General Kosi Latu. "The Australian Government is one of the key donors to SPREP and we are keen to strengthen our bonds through the work we do here at SPREP," he added.

Minister Fierravanti-Wells was pleased to announce two climate change adaptation investments while at SPREP.

Australia visit
SPREP Deputy Director General, Roger Cornforth, tours the Minister of International Development and the Pacific from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Honourable Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, around the SPREP campus, with the Pacific Climate Change Centre site in the background. Photo: SPREP.

The first investment, worth AU$1.5 million over three years, will involve a Griffith University collaboration with SPREP to improve data access on climate change impacts for Pacific policy makers. This agreement builds on the five-year Memorandum of Understanding between SPREP and Griffith University, signed at the beginning of the Pacific iCLIM Project Inception Workshop in Brisbane in April 2014. The Pacific iCLIM is a joint project between SPREP and Griffith University, funded by the Australian Government.

The two organisations will collaborate on research, development and capacity building for policies and programs in the areas of climate change mitigation and adaptation. Related activities will involve information, technology and finance issues, developing best practices in environment and climate change management, and the integration of traditional culture and knowledge into environment and climate change responses.

Minister Fierravanti-Wells announced a second investment of AU$990,000 for the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) to work with SPREP assisting Pacific Island countries to access and use recent climate research findings.

While at the SPREP Campus, the Minister and her delegation met with the Secretariat executives and Australian SPREP staff, toured the campus, and inspected the site of the new Pacific Climate Change Centre, due to be completed in June 2018.
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