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SPREP and CSIRO to work together to help strengthen Pacific island resilience

A new Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) will explore a range of different collaborative opportunities that achieve shared outcomes which will be of benefit to SPREP members.

The MOU was signed in Melbourne on 8 July by Mr Kosi Latu, Director-General of SPREP, and Dr Alex Wonhas, Executive-Director, CSIRO Environment, Energy and Resources.

"SPREP continues to broaden its horizons, and wide reach across the Pacific region and the world, in order to help bring world class support to our Pacific islands community, in the area of science and research," said Mr. Latu.

"This MOU is formalising the excellent working relations between CSIRO and SPREP which was initially established through the Pacific-Australia Climate Science Programme (PCCSP) and the Pacific-Australia Climate Change Science and Adaptation Programme (PACCSAP) during the period 2009-2014."

"We are very happy to sign this agreement with CSIRO as we see an emerging role for their support in the delivery of climate science and services to Pacific stakeholders through the new Pacific Climate Change Center (PCCC) here at SPREP."

CSIRO is Australia's leading multidisciplinary research organisation committed to building connections with the best partners in Australia and across the world to complement its science capability and accelerate the delivery of the benefits of its research.

SPREP is a regional, intergovernmental environment organisation that promotes cooperation in the Pacific region and helps to protect and improve the Pacific environment to ensure sustainable development for present and future generations. SPREP is also the home of the Pacific Climate Change Centre, funded by the Government of Japan with support from the Government of Samoa and will be completed by July, 2018.

"CSIRO is delighted to now have this MOU in place. We value our long-standing partnership with SPREP and look forward to jointly developing new collaborative initiatives for delivering high quality science and services which will enhance climate resilience and sustainability in partner countries across the region", said Dr Wonhas.

The MoU will initially span five years with an option to extend, and embraces a wide range of activities and areas in which SPREP and CSIRO will collaborate. The initial focus will be on where there are mutual interests in relation to the coordination, development, delivery and practical application of climate science and services to support resilient planning and development in the Pacific.

This will also include a new outreach project designed to facilitate uptake of the new PACCSAP climate science knowledge products by sectors in partner Pacific Island countries, with emphasis on targeted communications, capacity development and coordination via National Met Services. The project is funded by the Australian Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and is being led by CSIRO (Oceans and Atmosphere) as a joint initiative with SPREP (through the Pacific Met Desk Partnership) and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

Further collaborations between SPREP and CSIRO are presently under development in partnership with the Vanuatu Government for consideration by the Green Climate Fund, with emphasis on the development of climate information services to support adaptation policy, planning and associated decision-making in Vanuatu.
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