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Deputy P.M. Fiame honoured for environmental leadership

Deputy Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mata’afa, was conferred with a Pacific Leadership Award at the closing of the annual S.P.R.E.P meeting at Tanoa Tusitala Hotel on Friday.

The award was given in honour of the Government’s support developing the Pacific Climate Change Centre (P.C.C.C.), opened on Thursday morning at Vailima.

The P.C.C.C will be a regional information  and training centre on climate change, helping communities and various sectors become more resilience to its effects.

Director-General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme, Leota Kosi Latu, said Samoa has been a leader in addressing the climate crisis.

“Without the support of Samoa as the host country of S.P.R.E.P for over 25 years, we could not be the Secretariat we are today, and for this we are truly grateful. Thank you,” Leota said. 

Another Pacific Leadership Award went to Ambassador of Japan, Maugaoleatuolo Shinya Aoki, whose government funded the building of the P.C.C.C with $US7.5 million (T$19.4 million), and has funded technical experts to deliver short training programs at the centre on climate adaptation, mitigation and accessing finance. 

“Before your time as Ambassador to Samoa comes to an end, we would like to honour you in recognition of the generous contribution by the Government of Japan for the development of the Pacific Climate Change Centre and commitment to enhancing climate change capacity in the Pacific region,” said Leota.

Maugaoleatuolo is the Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Japan to the Samoa.

Leota also announced two Exceptional Leadership Awards to Dr. Colin Tukuitonga, Director-General of the Pacific Community (S.P.C) for his support and collaboration in the region on resilience.

The other went to Lucy Bogari, Papua New Guinea High Commissioner to Fiji and Permanent Representative to the Pacific Islands Forum and Council of Regional Organisations of the Pacific, who chaired the previous S.P.R.E.P meeting.

S.P.R.E.P held its 29th Annual Meeting in Apia this week, gathering its 21 Pacific Island members and five metropolitan members to discuss issues and approve the organisation’s 2020 to 2021 work plan. 

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