Pacific Scholars Complete Climate Resilience Training Under the USP PEUMP Project

 

[12 July 2024: Nadi, Fiji]: Twenty-one scholarship recipients, in the month end of June successfully completed the final phase of the Certificate IV in Resilience (Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction) training program in Nadi, Fiji. This training was funded by the European Union and Government of Sweden and spearheaded by the University of the South Pacific (USP) through the Pacific-European Union Marine Partnership (PEUMP) Programme.

“This certificate program is designed to equip individuals with the skills and knowledge to enhance their communities’ resilience to environmental, social, and economic challenges,” said Professor Surendra Prasad, Head of the School of Agriculture, Geography, Environment, Ocean and Natural Sciences (SAGEONS) at USP. “The approach is to move from ad hoc training to a more strategic and formal education and continuing professional development implemented at regional, national, and local levels.”

“Climate change is not just a buzzword. It is a reality,” said Susan Sela, Director of Pacific TAFE. “This qualification covers critical topics such as climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction, sustainable development, and community engagement and education to prepare individuals for real-world challenges.”

The duration of this qualification is one year for full-time students and 1.5 years for part-time students, offered through a blended mode of online and face-to-face classes. The twenty-one trainees consisted mostly of government representatives from across the Pacific – Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu.

“I learned the importance of community engagement in all aspects of community project development – from scoping, consultation, implementation, and monitoring,” said Taio Jhonny, Tofea Environment Extension Officer, Ministry of Climate Change, Vanuatu. “I will apply this in my work moving forward.”

Shirley Ifunoa, Trainer, Technical Institute of Malaita, Solomon Islands said that “understanding climate resilient issues was a key learning for me. I will apply aspects of this course to my trainings around eco-tourism and sustainable tourism.”

The trainees will officially graduate, receiving their certificates in September. The USP PEUMP project looks forward to seeing the positive impacts that this qualification will have in the region.

USP is one of four key implementing partners of the PEUMP Programme, a EUR 45million program which promotes 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 programme is housed within the Institute of Marine Resources within the School of Agriculture, Geography, Environment, Ocean and Natural Sciences.

Media Contact

Lore Croker, USP PEUMP Communications, lore.croker@usp.ac.fj

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