Pandemic continues to impact projects in region

The COVID-19 global pandemic will continue to impact the pace and efficiency of project delivery across the Pacific islands, says a senior Government official.

Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment [M.N.R.E.] Assistant Chief Executive Officer [Climate Change and GEF], Anne Rasmussen, told the August 19-20 virtual Steering Committee meeting of the European Union [EU]-funded Intra-ACP G.C.C.A.+ Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change and Resilience Building [P.A.C.R.E.S.] that the pandemic was having an impact on projects in the region.

Ms Rasmussen, who chaired the meeting, noted that it was apparent the COVID-19 pandemic has and will continue to affect the pace, and efficiency of all project delivery across the region.

However, according to a statement issued by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme [S.P.R.E.P.], the P.A.C.R.E.S. had responded well to the challenges and continued to progress through virtual dialogue and tangible implementation in countries.

P.A.C.R.E.S. is advancing Pacific capacity in relation to the U.N.F.C.C.C. processes, national policy and planning, building the capacity of our youth through academia, scaling up national adaptation pilot projects, contributing to regional climate and disaster frameworks through the Pacific Resilience Partnership and supporting private sector engagement.

This was the first Steering Committee Meeting since the P.A.C.R.E.S. Inception and Planning Meeting  held in April 2019 in Samoa, and was an opportunity for P.A.C.R.E.S. to receive guidance, advice and direction on project activities from partner countries.

P.A.C.R.E.S. aims to ensure better regional and national adaptation and mitigation responses to climate change challenges faced by 15 Pacific ACP countries, most of which were able to participate in the Steering Committee Meeting.

While it was noted during the meeting that considerable progress was made since the Inception and Planning Meeting, the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent restrictions countries globally are experiencing have also had an impact on  project implementation.

The S.P.R.E.P. Director-General, Kosi Latu, informed participants during his opening remarks that while COVID-19 has resulted in obvious restrictions resulting in the cancellation or postponement of meetings and activities, changing the way we work in response to these challenges has provided insights into new ways of working. In that context he thanked participants for making time to virtually attend this meeting.

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