Ground breaking for Pacific Climate Change Centre next week

By Ivamere Nataro ,

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Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi. (Photo: Samoa Observer)

The Pacific Climate Change Centre (P.C.C.C.) is scheduled to break ground on 11 May 2018 at the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (S.P.R.E.P.) Campus, Vailima. 

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, Japan’s Ambassador to Samoa, Maugaoleatuolo Shinya Aoki, S.P.R.E.P.’s Director General, Leota Kosi Latu and Konoike Construction Project Manager, Hiroyaki Tango are expected to officially break ground on the site. 

The P.C.C.C. is funded by Japan International Corporation Agency (J.I.C.A.) under a bilateral grant from the Government of Japan to the Government of Samoa. 

P.C.C.C. will act as the regional hub for climate change action in the region. It will also serve as the physical node of the World Meteorological Organisation Regional Climate Centre (W.M.O.R.C.C.) in terms of practical training for met services and applied research. 

According to the S.P.R.E.P.’s website, the concept of the P.C.C.C. was first endorsed at the 2012 S.P.R.E.P. Meeting held in Noumea, New Caledonia.

In 2015, P.C.C.C. was officially approved at the Pacific Leaders Meeting (P.A.L.M. 7) in Japan. At this meeting, Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, formally stated in the P.A.L.M. 7 Declaration: “Japan’s intention to provide comprehensive assistance, in collaboration with S.P.R.E.P., including the development of the Pacific Climate Change Centre and capacity-building which supports the efforts for tackling climate change by the Pacific region as a whole”.

The website further states a new era for climate change in the Pacific region began when the Pacific Climate Change Roundtable discussions concluded, which also includes P.C.C.C. as the center for climate change action in the region. 

"We have convened a steering committee that has looked at functions and governance; the process also included the first regional consultation. Importantly, we are now fleshing out what sorts of programs the PCCC should focus on in the near term and to garner partners' support for these," Deputy Director General of S.P.R.E.P., Roger Cornforth, was quoted saying in the website. 

"The P.C.C.C. will be a major asset for the region, there will be space available for secondments, placements and visiting researchers who want to work with the region, and we are hopeful that this will result in valuable applied research for building resilience to climate change."

As the Pacific moves into this new era, integrating disaster risk reduction and climate change to strengthen resilience, the Pacific Climate Change Centre may be the va'a that is needed to help steer this journey. It will be the hub of innovation for delivery of climate change and integrated disaster risk management knowledge and services to Pacific island members, the website said. 

The P.C.C.C. is scheduled to be completed and opened in 2019. 

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