DG Sheppard's Welcoming Speech at the PACC Monitoring & Evaluation Workshop, Apia Samoa, 07 April 2014
Damien & Martin - from Pacific Research & Evaluation Associates, Australia
UNDP and SPREP Support teams
Country Coordinators of all 14 member countries of the PACC
Colleagues, Ladies & Gentlemen
It is a great privilege to once again be amongst the PACC family. It is also a great pleasure and honor to provide some opening remarks to this important workshop.
PACC is very fresh in my mind at the moment. I have just come from the opening of the PACC Hihifo Water Supply System Project in Tonga last week. This opening was graced by the presence of His Majesty King Tupou VI and was an outstanding event. What struck me most was the moving reaction of the local communities involved in the project, as shown in their smiles, their warm welcome, their dancing and their delicious food.
A point I took from this opening, which I believe is relevant to this week, is that when we look at Monitoring and Evaluation let's always assess and consider the reaction of the target audience – in this case the people of Hihifo and the Government and people of Tonga. Let's start by talking to them and let's also consider what the results have been on the ground.
As Winston Churchill once said: "no matter how perfect the strategy, it is always better to look at the results"
So, this week I'm sure you will be looking at indicators, log frames, activities, outcomes, and various analytical approaches. But please always keep in mind the results on the ground and the views of the target audiences of PACC.
With that introduction, I would like to thank you all for attending this important hands-on workshop which will greatly assist us in reporting the results of thePACC project as we progress to closure this year.
The world's leading body on climate change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – the IPCC - released a major report last Monday reinforcing the major impacts of climate change.
The report noted impacts will be particularly severe for the small island states of the Pacific - that our countries are on the "front line" in dealing with climate change.
Even though Pacific contribute less than 0.03% of the world's total greenhouse gas emissions, we are the countries that will suffer the most from a changing climate, particularly for our low lying atolls, noting that 3 of the 5 lowest countries on earth are in the Pacific – Kiribati, Marshall Islands and Tuvalu.
The IPCC report highlighted the need for practical adaptation strategiesto increase resilience and reduce the vulnerability of communities against the impacts of climate change.
The PACC project is in fact leading the way in addressing this need, through implementing practical adaptation projectsbased on country priorities, comprehensive site assessments and economic analysis.
We have completed PACC demonstration activities on the ground, working closely with local communities in all cases. And we are starting to see the fruits of these activities.
I wouldthus like to thank and congratulate you all for the great workyou have done so far.
We must share the results of the PACC Project and ensure that lessons learnt are applied to future climate change adaptation programmes in all Pacific countries. I believe the coming SIDS Conference, to be held in Samoa in September, provides an excellent opportunity for sharing the results of PACC.
I understand this workshop, with the help of Martin and Damien, will help us better identify and share the results of PACC.
In doing this we must work together as a team.
A wise Pacific leader once said: "if you want to go fast you go alone; if you want to go far you go together".
I mentioned this quote at the PACC launch in Tonga last week and I mention it again today as I believe it summarizes a key feature of our project.
On PACC we – the Governments and peoples of Pacific countries, UNDP, SPREP, the Government of Australia, and other partners, have indeed gone far because we have gone together.
We have gone together and far in Tonga with the Hihifo water supply project. Thank you to Paula and your wonderful team in Tonga.Malo 'aupito!
Congratulations to Marshall Islands and thank you Joe - for launching, yet another PACC milestone, on the same day as Tonga. I'm so sorry I could not be in two places at once. But I'm glad that Espen was able to represent SPREP and I note the high political will and commitment again, this time of the President of the Marshall Islands and his First Lady. Kommoltata!
I am happy to note that the coastal sector countries - Cook Islands and FSM - will also be launching the completion of their demonstration work later this month and early May. Congratulations Paul and Simpson. Meitakimaata!
With Tokelau and Tuvalu in the pipeline to cut some more ribbons in the middle of the year, this is truly a sign of the good work you have all done together.
I will like to pay tribute to your long time regional Project Manager, Mr. Taito Nakalevu. He nurtured this PACC seed into a healthy plant with fruits now bearing all over the Pacific. Vinaka Ratu Taito. With Neta in the chief planter and nurturers role now I have no doubt that the PACC Project will reach closure on a high and positive note.
Last but not least, I note that the PACC and PIGGAREP projects are undergoing external audits and our friendly auditors are with us this week. Thank you in advance for your collaboration with Naheed and the auditors on all the areas and information required from your countries for these audits.
Our aim is an unqualified audit opinion and we greatly value your views, inputs and support towards this objective.
I would like to return to the SIDS meeting later this year. PACC is registered as a 'partnership' at SIDS. We are expected to provide and share results on what we have achieved with the PACC project and what the lessons have been for the Pacific and indeed for small islands states around the world.
I look forward to this workshop providing guidance on PACC at the SIDS conference, so that we are well placed to speak about our results at this once in a lifetime global opportunity, right here in Samoa.
In closing, SPREP would like to sincerely thank Lizbeth Cullity and all of the UNDP staff we have worked with so closely and effectively over many years, the GEF, the Government of Australia, and, most importantly, all of you and your Governments for your leadership, partnership and outstanding work with the PACC project.
I wish you well with the workshop this week and please take some time to enjoy the beautiful country of Samoa and treat this SPREP Campus as your home, both while you are here and on any future visits.