Civil servant praises power of climate resilience

A public servant has spoken of the benefits completing a recent course in adapting to the realities of a changing climate will bring to her job as part of Samoa's wider efforts to become climate change resilient.

Twenty-three-year-old Rosa Via Faaopoopo, who currently works for the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, is one of four Ministry staff who successfully completed the Certificate 4 in Resilience course which was funded by the United States Agency for International Development (U.S.A.I.D.) through the U.S. Embassy in partnership with the University of the South Pacific’s Pacific T.A.F.E. (Technical and Further Education) institution. 

She said the course is important as it is on climate change which is not only affecting Samoa but other Pacific nations as well as the world.

“So as one of the graduates of this course I can tell that this is one of the most important parts of the studied opportunity in Samoa, especially at this time in many issues that involve climate change, not only us in the Pacific Island countries and around the globe," she said.

Ms Faaopoopo said the course had four components which they studied over a five-month period to strengthen their technical skills in designing and implementing disaster resilience projects. 

“The course is just a little bit harder, but we always tried our very best to finish it because of great value in assisting the development of Samoa, and in particular the ability for us to respond to severe climate change in any affected area, especially in large areas that are likely to affect the economy of Samoa such as agricultural sector, environment sector, infrastructure development sector and so forth."

As part of the course requirements undertaken by the four M.A.F. staff, they had to find new ways and methods by which to respond to any group affected by natural disasters that could occur in any area, especially in the different workplaces.

"It is in these areas where this course is important that we gain a wealth of skills and knowledge that will enable us to be leaders in responding to climate change issues,” said Ms Faaopoopo.

“A wide range of major topics has been studied, including the different types of natural hazards and the major impacts they have, as well as the potential economic impacts."

Ms Faaopoopo described her and her colleagues’ completion of the course as an “important milestone” as it means that through their upskilling they will continue to serve the country in an age of natural disasters and climate change. 

"So this is a very important milestone that has enabled us to achieve this kind of course so that we do keep trying and want to continue to serve our beautiful Samoa,” she said.

“Because, in fact, we all know that this is one of the most popular important issues discussed in every country of the world and especially us in the Pacific Island countries, that we are constantly exploring a wide range of ways to respond to natural disasters and climate change impacts. 

“And this is a great opportunity to voice many many thanks to the U.S.A.I.D. Ready Projects in partnership with the U.S.P. for these privileged opportunities we had to be educated and learn more in these various courses, which is so helpful for the development of Samoa.

“In other ways the fact that the things God has made cannot be changed by man but through our studies, our findings, our methodologies and our human understanding, the lord will always help us to save our country."

Ms Faaopoopo’s other M.A.F. colleagues who successfully completed the course include Esmay Tanielu, Bernadette Tuiletufuga and Tilomai Wong. 

Their official U.S.P. certificates will be awarded at a future U.S.P. graduation.

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