The Pacific islands region is on track to having its own Pacific Climate Change Centre to be based in Samoa at the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (S.P.R.E.P.).
This Friday will see the ground breaking ceremony take place at S.P.R.E.P. Headquarters in Vailima.
The construction of the Centre is funded by the Government of Japan, through grant aid to the Government of Samoa.
S.P.R.E.P. Director General, Leota Kosi Latu, recently participated in the tender selection process managed by J.I.C.A. in Tokyo which resulted in the awarding of the contract for the construction of the Pacific Climate Change Centre to Konoike Construction Co. Ltd.
The commencement of construction of the Centre this year also coincides with the 25 Year anniversary celebrations of S.P.R.E.P. as an independent regional organisation.
S.P.R.E.P. was established as an independent organisation based in Samoa through the signing of the S.P.R.E.P. Agreement in June, 1993.
Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, is excited about the development of the Centre.
“The Centre will play a critical role in enhancing the awareness particularly of the Pacific Island countries on the complexities of climate change and impacts including threats and opportunities such as building capacities and resilience of communities,” he said.
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 and was officially approved at the 2015 Pacific Island Leaders Meeting (P.A.L.M. 7) held in Japan.
The Centre will be the regional hub for enhanced and inclusive collaboration and coordination to support climate resilient development and responses to climate change in the region.
Development of the Centre is guided by a steering committee consisting of a wide range of key stakeholders including Member countries, partners, donors and agencies of the Council of the Regional Organisations of the Pacific (C.R.O.P.). The Centre will host climate change experts, researchers and officials for applied research, training and policy initiatives.
“After three years of planning and 25 years of service to our Pacific islands, we are pleased to be able to celebrate the start of the construction of the Pacific Climate Change Centre during our 25th anniversary year,” said Leota.
“We are on the cusp of a new era for our Pacific region with our new S.P.R.E.P. strategic plan now in action, and this Pacific Climate Change Centre – a centre of excellence that belongs to our Pacific people, – will be a catalyst for Pacific climate change action. The Centre will play a key role in our journey ahead which will be one towards progress, resilience and environmental sustainability in our Pacific.”
It will be constructed according to green guidelines which includes 50% of the energy to be driven by solar panels with the hope that it will be powered 100% by renewable energy in the future.
The Pacific Climate Change Centre is funded by the Government of Japan and developed in partnership with the Government of Samoa and S.P.R.E.P.