Pacific communities undergo climate adaptation and disaster management training
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Participants of the PACE-SD,EU-GCCA Regional Workshop in Tonga.
The use of the Integrated Vulnerability Assessment (IVA) framework and the Loss and Damage (L&D) toolkits will be valuable to the resilience of our communities as they become better prepared to respond to projected extreme natural events, says Tonga’s Chief Executive Officer for the Ministry of Climate Change, Paula Ma’u.
He made the comment while opening Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development (PaCE-SD’s) European Union Global Climate Change Alliance (EUGCCA) Regional Workshop at The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Tonga campus on 24 February, 2016. The workshop included the IVA, Community Risk Mapping and L&D Training.
Mr Ma’u, in his opening address, said he washonoured to be invited to open this regional workshop as it was a timely one.
“It is a timely training for all of us especially during this season of natural hazards when cyclones such as TC Winston recently disrupted every aspect of our lives during this past week,” he noted.
“I am sure that our local participants will add value to this integrated vulnerability assessment framework with their existing frameworks and local experiences,” he noted.
He hoped that as a result of discussions, a framework could be outlined that is not only user-friendly to the community but practical, to enable them to adopt it to suit their most pressing needs.
“At the end of the day, community resilience to the impacts of climate change and extreme natural events is the focus of our attention,” he added.
He emphasised that the Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications fully supported this initiative which will be beneficial to local communities.
In his closing remarks, USP’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and International Professor Derrick Armstrong said hewas glad to be a part of a very stimulating discussions and training.
He said he appreciated the work and effort shown by participants and was excited about the future of the project.
L & D kit is a proactive assessment tool that looks at the negative impacts of climatic events (both slow and sudden). One of the main aims of the data collected by the L&D Tool kit is to find out when and where the limitation to coping and adaptation measures will be reached so that remedial measures are devised and ready well before that. It recognises that there are certain things that cannot be recovered, repaired or replaced if lost (Loss) and there are things that can be replaced, repaired or recovered (Damage).
The IVA framework is designed to identify climate, disaster and unsustainable development risks to local communities in a participatory way so as to proactively respond to them. Information gathered and analysed via the IVA framework could be used to better inform decision-making related to resilient or sustainable development prioritization, planning as well as interventions and investments at the community, provincial, national and regional levels. It is also designed to enable community, provincial and national institutions to monitor, evaluate and strengthen the effectiveness of resilient development interventions and investments in their respective regions.
The PaCE-SD ‘Food Security – Best Practices in the Pacific Report’ and the ‘Community Mapping and QGIS Toolkit: A climate and disaster risk mapping toolkit for communities’ were launched at the workshop.
A total number of 50 participants attended the training which included In Country Coordinators from 15 Pacific Island countries as well as 15 representatives from the three communities of Nakolo, Popua and Fahefa in Tonga. A representative from UN Women’s Climate Change Program also participated at the workshop to discuss issues around gender equality when conducting vulnerability assessments and planning for adaptation.
The training was organised by PaCE-SD’s EUGCCA Project.
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