A new milestone was reached with the recent launch of the Pacific’s first accredited Pacific Ocean Finance certificate programme which is delivered under USP’s component of the Pacific-European Union Marine Partnership (PEUMP) Programme, funded by the European Union (EU) and the government of Sweden.
The Pacific Ocean Finance certificate programme will be delivered in June 2023 by Pacific TAFE with an aim to improve collective regional understanding of ocean finance and its challenges, as well as to identify opportunities for the Pacific.
While delivering her keynote address, the Chargée d’affaires, Acting Head of Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific, Dr. Erja Askola said, “The European Union and Sweden, an EU Member States, are pleased to partner with the USP in this vital area for the Pacific. The Pacific Ocean Finance certificate programme is yet another tangible outcome of our blossoming partnership. It will deliver concrete knowledge and skills to support work on ocean finance in partner countries and develop national ocean finance profiles, which will allow to design and use appropriate tools to address country-specific challenges and opportunities”.
The University of the South Pacific developed this programme as a by-product of the Pacific Islands regional oceanscape programme which was implemented by the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency in collaboration with the Pacific Community (SPC) and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat’s Office of the Pacific Ocean Commissioner (OPOC).
“There is room for improvement in the way we deal with ocean priorities through a more coordinated and strategic approach especially with regards to ocean health, livelihoods and security and economic security which are impacted by climate change” said Dr Francis Mani, the acting Head of School of Agriculture, Geography, Environment, Ocean and Natural Sciences (SAGEONS). “Sustainable financing is critical for addressing these issues through improved policies, incentives, tools, and approaches that can empower local people and support responsible businesses.”
“Graduates of this programme will be equipped with a better understanding of the concept of sustainable ocean economy within the context of Pacific Island economies.” said Bulou Vitukawalu, Coordinator Fisheries Programme, Pacific Technical and Further Education (Pacific TAFE). “It will also equip these learners with a broad range of technical and theoretical knowledge and skills to support work in ocean finance as well as have the competency to adapt to the changing landscape of ocean finance.
USP is one of four key implementing partners of the EUR 45million PEUMP Programme, which aims to promote sustainable management and sound ocean governance for food security and economic growth while addressing climate change resilience and conservation of marine biodiversity. It follows a comprehensive approach, integrating issues related to ocean fisheries, coastal fisheries, community development, marine conservation and capacity building under one single regional action. The PEUMP project is housed within the Institute of Marine Resources within the School of Agriculture, Geography, Environment, Ocean and Natural Sciences (SAGEONS).
The University of the South Pacific (USP) is the premier institution of higher learning for the Pacific, uniquely placed in a region of extraordinary physical, social and economic diversity to serve the region’s needs for high quality tertiary education, research and policy development. One of only two regional universities of its type in the world, USP has 12 member countries: Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. USP is committed to achieving excellence and innovation for the sustainable development of Pacific Island Countries.
The Pacific-European Union Marine Partnership (PEUMP) Programme addresses some of the most serious challenges faced by Pacific countries. Among these are the increasing depletion of coastal fisheries resources; the threats to marine biodiversity, including negative impacts of climate change and disasters; the uneven contribution of oceanic fisheries to national economic development; the need for improved education and training; and the need to mainstream a rights-based approach and to promote greater recognition of gender issues to ensure inclusiveness and positive changes for Pacific island people. The seven-year PEUMP programme is funded by the European Union (EUR 35 million) and the government of Sweden (EUR 10 million). It is implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC), the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA), the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the University of the South Pacific (USP) in close collaboration with Non-Government Organisations and the national authorities.