China donates $535,000 to help region combat climate challenges
The Chinese Government has made its second of five contributions towards a landmark million dollar grant to the Pacific’s work towards climate resilience.
On Tuesday, China's Ambassador to Samoa, Chao Xiaoliang handed over US$200,000 (T$535,816) from China to the Secretariat of the Regional Environment Programme (S.P.R.E.P).
S.P.R.E.P Director General, Leota Kosi Latu, said the funding towards the organisations core budget allows it to better work for its members.
“The impact your contribution has made and will continue to make regarding China’s commitment to helping Pacific Island countries address climate change and achieve sustainable development is acknowledged with sincere appreciation,” he said.
S.P.R.E.P has delivered several projects funded by China, and was supported to attend the large United Nations conference on climate change in Poland last year too.
China has funded programme activities on oceanography, regional partnerships and knowledge management, and communications and outreach.
The funding also helped the programme upgrade funding accreditation with the Green Climate Fund. Now, S.P.R.E.P can apply for grants of up to US$250 million – though they are in no rush to do so just yet, Leota said earlier this month.
Last year, in Port Moresby President Xi Jinping announced that between 2018 and 2023, China will provide a total of US$1 million to S.P.R.E.P, and will host ten training programmes on capacity building on climate change for Pacific island countries.
Before that, the annual contribution was $150,000.
“Chinese government attaches great importance to the environment protection and ecological civilisation building,” Ambassador Chao said.
“The effort to deal with climate change is not only driven by China’s domestic needs for sustainable development but also by its sense of responsibility of forging a community with a shared future for mankind.
“The future of mankind has never been so closely linked and the interests of countries have never been so deeply intertwined.”
China has been funding S.P.R.E.P since 1998.