By VASEMACA TUISAWAU
A funding agreement signed earlier this week in Noumea between the French Development Agency (AFD), the French Fund for the Global Environment (FFEM) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) will see four countries in the Pacific host pilot sites for the regional cooperation project in the South Pacific – Restoration of Ecosystems Services against Climate Change Unfavourable Effects (RESCCUE).
The Ra province in Fiji along with five other sites in New Caledonia, French Polynesia and Vanuatu have been earmarked as pilot sites for the project as they have been identified as representative of the region’s environmental and socio-economic diversity.
The ultimate goal of the project is to increase the climate change resilience of Pacific-island land and marine ecosystems, as well as maintaining and strengthening the services those ecosystems provide communities.
Jules IRRMANN, chargé d’affaires a.i. at the Embassy of France in Suva, confirmed the information stating that:
“France, and the European Union in general, are very keen on pushing ambitious goals in terms of conservation of biodiversity and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and we work in close contact with the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) with this regard.”
As you may know,” he added, “France will host the 3rd World Congress of Protected Marine Areas in Marseille this year from 21 to 26 October and is also highly likely to host the upcoming 2015 United Nations Conference on Climate Change, at the Paris-LeBourget Conference Centre. This meeting will be a major one as it aims to conclude a new international climate agreement, applicable to all countries after 2020″.
The five year project which will be managed by SPC focuses on improving and sustainably funding integrated management of coastal zones in the Pacific islands, where most islanders live and where climate change has many negative effects.
Also present at the signing on Tuesday was France’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the Pacific Community, Jean-Luc Fauré-Tournaire.