Suva, Fiji – The United States of America (USA) and the University of the South Pacific (USP) have commenced the implementation of its first-ever direct collaboration under the “US-Pacific Resilience and Adaptation Fellowship Program”.
Officially announced at the first US-Pacific Leaders’ Summit in September 2022 by US President Joe Biden, the State Department’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES) has awarded a US$5 million grant to USP to establish a new Resilience and Adaptation Fellowship for Rising Pacific Leaders.
The programme will train the next generation of Pacific climate leaders in partnership with premier US universities. The program will also send young Pacific professionals to US institutions that are leading research on a wide range of critical climate-related issues, such as natural resource economics and management, resilient food systems, renewable energy development, water security and waste management.
Partnerships with premier US universities will deepen the relationship between the United States and countries across the Pacific region, foster knowledge sharing, strengthen professional networks, build capacity, and usher in a new generation of Pacific leaders who can skilfully champion solutions that strengthen the resilience of their homes and help Pacific Island communities adapt to the impacts of climate change.
It is expected that, among other opportunities under this programme, USP will provide fully funded PhD scholarships to young and emerging leaders that could be jointly undertaken at USP and US partner institutions.
While announcing the award at the White House, President Biden stated, “The programme is an Administration priority that will both support Pacific Islands regional capacity building and work to address climate change”.
USP’s Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Pal Ahluwalia has welcomed the support of this first-ever direct collaboration between the United States Government and USP.
Professor Ahluwalia stated, “This initiative greatly supports USP in its strategic imperative to develop effective leaders across the Pacific who can tackle new and emerging challenges brought about by effects of the climate crisis”.
In her address during a recent visit to USP, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Jennifer R. Littlejohn stated, “This partnership will strengthen USP as a centre of excellence to help the Pacific meet climate-related and environmental challenges. It will help train the next generation of Pacific leaders and scientists to manage resources here and lend their voices to global efforts”.
This collaboration will also introduce new initiatives that focus on building executive leadership and equip emerging and future leaders with the tools required to tackle the impacts of climate change in the region effectively.
The programme is designed to include three levels of leadership development to support emerging, mid-level and senior leaders.
Department of State: For media inquiries, please contact OES-Press@state.gov.
USP: For general inquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org