The Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) together with the USP, SPC and IUCN are holding discussions this afternoon with a major UAE research institute, the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology on major projects for the Pacific.
Last month following its successful participation at the fifth session of the International Renewable Energy Agency’s (IRENA) held from 17-18 January 2015 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates where the Assembly voted to grant Observer status to the PIDF, the PIDF delegation to the meeting comprising Mr Penijamini R.T. Lomaloma, Deputy Secretary General, and Ambassador Esala Teleni, Special Advisor (Projects) met the following to discuss joint projects for the Pacific:
· Her Highness Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development,
· Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber Minister of State in the United Arab Emirates and the chairman of Masdar of the Masdar Institute,
· Dr. Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi Chair of the UAE-Pacific Partnership Fund, Permanent Representative of the UAE to IRENA, and Director of Energy and Climate Change,
· Professor Youssef Shatitla, Dean of the Masdar Institute,
· Professor Taha BMJ Ouarda the Head of the Institute Center for Water and Environment of the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology,
· Dr. Adnan Amin, Director General of IRENA.
Projects discussed included help with water in the Pacific, renewable energy, and an exchange of post graduate students between the Institute and USP. This afternoon at 3pm a Team from the Pacific comprising the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), the University of the South Pacific, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the PIDF will be discussing the development of these projects through a Teleconference with the Head of the Institute Center for Water and Environment of the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology Professor Taha BMJ Ouarda.
Speaking about upcoming collaboration with Masdar the PIDF Secretary General Mr Feleti Teo states,“Access to safe drinking water and clean, reliable, and affordable energy are critical sustainable development issues for Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs), with profound implications for economic growth, human rights, public health and the environment.
While a range of national and regional programmes exist to address specific water and sanitation, and energy issues in the Pacific, there is now a clear need for the Pacific community to review, update and refresh the actions and commitments made to date.
“I am glad this meeting is taking place this afternoon as we see understand that the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology is the world’s first graduate- level university dedicated to providing real-world solutions to issues of sustainability. Our proposed collaboration will contribute to an integrated approach to the management of water and sanitation, and energy in the Pacific.”
“Community ownership and engagement are crucial to the success of any improvement efforts, and the design and implementation of solutions should include measures to enable the effective participation of communities at all stages. The PIDF with its inclusive processes can contribute to this regional effort and we are grateful to all parties that are working together on this initiatives.”