CAPTION: Ambassador Reed and Director Steele take a photo with Oceania Dancers who performed at the launch. Photo: SUPPLIED.
United States Ambassador Frankie A. Reed and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director for the Philippines and the Pacific Islands Gloria D. Steele led the launching of the US Government’s new projects that will help the Pacific Islands adapt to climate change.
“Today, we launch USAID’s new projects that will help communities in the Pacific region to adapt to the effects of global climate change, which is crucial in sustaining economic development,” Ambassador Reed said in her welcome remarks at the USAID Day launch event held at the University of the South Pacific.
“These activities also emphasize our heightened focus on this important region,” she added.
Ambassador Reed and USAID Mission Director Steele led guests to display booths featuring nine USAID global climate change initiatives in the region, including its new assistance projects.
Director Steele said, “We will help to build community resilience, improve the sustainability of clean energy investments, and promote sustainable forest management as part of our heightened engagement to address climate change in the Pacific region.”
USAID’s new projects include: (1) the US$ 23.6m Coastal Community Adaptation Project (C-CAP), which will help build the resiliency of vulnerable coastal communities in the Pacific to withstand more intense and frequent weather events and ecosystem degradation in the short term, and sea-level rise in the long term; (2) the US$ 7.5m Mangrove Rehabilitation for Sustainably-Managed, Healthy Forests (MARSH) project, which assists to restore degraded mangrove forests in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu by providing training for community-based, sustainable mangrove forest management and reforestation and strengthening the technical and scientific capacity for forest carbon monitoring, reporting and verification; (3) the US$1.5m Vocational Training and Education for Clean Energy (VOCTEC) project, which partners with educational institutions in the Pacific to strengthen the cadre of qualified engineers and technicians to design, install, operate, maintain and repair solar photovoltaic energy equipment in the Pacific; and (4) the US$690k USAID-U.S.
Peace Corps Partnership, which builds the capacity of remote communities for adaptation to climate change and disaster risk reduction in Vanuatu, Fiji, and Micronesia.
US Government development assistance in the Pacific Islands region covers 12 nations: Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.