The University of the South Pacific (USP) is currently hosting a two-day workshop to strengthen research and innovation ecosystems to address the impact of climate change in the Pacific. The Research and Innovation Ecosystems to Address the Impact of Climate Change in the Pacific (RERIPA) project focuses on three key areas: coastal vulnerability, ocean health, and rising sea levels. The project is divided into three “calls,” with USP leading Calls 1 and 2.
During the two-day workshop, which is being held at the Nalagi Hotel in Nadi, Fiji, stakeholders, and partners will map out a strategy moving forward for the project, while addressing the challenges faced by Pacific Island countries. The project aims to take a solutions-focused approach to address the effects of climate change by strengthening research and innovation ecosystem capabilities.
During his opening remarks, Professor Sushil Kumar, Director of Research at the University of the South Pacific (USP), acknowledged and thanked the collaborators and emphasized the importance of research and innovation that the RERIPA project will provide, stating “that it will take a step towards finding solutions to the impacts of climate change in the South Pacific region.”
The RERIPA project focuses on three areas: coastal vulnerability, ocean health, and rising sea levels; that translates to Call 1, Call 2, and Call 3 Living Labs.
- Call 1 – focuses on Mapping and Diagnosis of R&I ecosystems, networking facilitation, R&I general vision/strategy with a particular focus on climate change, and
- Call 2 – Capacity Building in Innovation and Valorization.
- Call 3 – Setting up Living Labs fostering public/private partnerships around the R&I capacity already existing or developed for innovative solutions helping to address Climate Change Initiatives.
During her opening remarks, Professor Elisabeth Holland, Director of the Pacific Centre for Environment & Sustainable Development (PaCE-SD) and Professor of Ocean and Climate Change, emphasized the importance of collaboration, stating that “This workshop is creating a network of networks to build a Pacific Research and Innovation ecosystem.” The workshop aims to bring together community networks, CSO networks, and academic networks, which will interweave to form a beautiful Pacific mat, allowing for a comprehensive understanding of the region’s research and innovation capacity.
The Research and Innovation capabilities of the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries are critical to their sustainable development, particularly in addressing the challenging climate change impacts (CCI).
The RERIPA project, which aims to stimulate innovation and strengthen the research and innovation ecosystems in the Pacific region, is being carried out in collaboration with the Research Institute for Development (IRD), the primary beneficiary of the OACPS IF grant.
The project is also closely collaborating with several organizations, including the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF), the Pacific Islands Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (PIANGO), and the Vanuatu Meteorological and Geo-Hazards Department (VMGD).
USP has been awarded Calls 1 and 2 which are led by Professor Maurizio, Professor Elizabeth Holland, and Professor Marini who is the RERIPA project advisor. Call 1 involves a consortium of partners, including the Pacific Islands Universities Research Network (PIURN), the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), National University of Vanuatu (NUV), Solomon Islands National University (SINU), Fiji Institute Engineering (FIE), University of New Caledonia, and Pacific Ocean Pathways in Support of Sustainable Development an Integrated Approach (PACPATH).
Call 2 partners include the National University of Samoa (NUS), Sustainable Sea Transport Initiative (SSTI), Mainstreaming of Rural Development Innovation Tonga Trust (MORDI), University of New Caledonia, and the Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute. The RERIPA project is funded by the ACP Innovation Fund (IF), a component of the Organization of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS) Research and Innovation (R&I) programs, with financial support from the European Union.
The RERIPA project is funded by the African Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) Innovation Fund (IF), which is a component of the Organization of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS) Research and Innovation (R&I) programs, with financial support from the European Union.