Participants complete climate resilience course

Two dozen participants have successfully completed a United States Agency for International Development (U.S.A.I.D.) resilience programme designed to help Pacific Island countries withstand climate change's effects. 

U.S. Embassy Charge d’Affaires Jonathan Lee Yoo presented completion certificates on Monday to the 24 people who successfully completed the programme. 

According to the U.S. Embassy, the course is a partnership between the U.S.A.I.D.'s Ready Project and the University of the South Pacific’s (U.S.P) Pacific Technical and Further Education (T.A.F.E) program 

The five-month course strengthened technical skills to design and implement projects to build natural disaster resilience.  

Particpants in the course included mid-level managers of Government Ministries, non-Governmental organisations and representatives from the private sector. It was conducted online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is the first resilience course supported by the U.S.A.I.D. Ready project in Samoa.  

The project is rolling out the course across 10 other Pacific Island countries. The U.S.A.I.D. Ready programme works with 11 countries: the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

It aims to help them achieve climate change adaptation goals by assisting them to develop policies and legislation, access climate finance and build capacity to manage adaptation projects.

Mr. Yoo said that the U.S Government is pleased to support skills development necessary to incorporate climate change resilience into the design of projects in Samoa.

U.S.A.I.D. will continue its other work on the development agency's COVID-19 response, climate change, disaster risk management, gender inclusion and empowerment, and food security and strengthening democratic governance the Embassy said in a statement.

In a response to Samoa Observer email queries, Mr. Lee Yoo stated that resilient development requires everyone across all sectors of the economy to work together to adapt existing infrastructure and social systems to ensure that we are ready to manage the challenges ahead. 

"Through the USAID Ready project, the U.S. government is pleased to work with Samoa and Pacific governments, the private sector, and civil society to address most pressing development needs.  In this regard I commend the commitment of the course participants who have had to adapt to a fully online course because of the COVID-19 pandemic," he said.

"A key component of the USAID Ready project is increasing the capacity of Pacific Island countries to better manage the projects that address environmental resilience.  

"During USAID’s consultations with partner countries, stakeholders identified a need to incorporate climate change resilience into their work and apply a resilience approach to project design and implementation. 

"Partners also identified the need to strengthen their capacity to effectively implement projects that build the resilience of communities against extreme weather events and natural disasters.  The right skills are necessary if these projects are to deliver on their promised benefits."

The next course is the Certificate IV in Procurement and Supply which will start very soon with 36 participants from Samoa which is facilitated by U.S.P Pacific T.A.F.E.

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