Monday 02 June 2014, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Pohnpei. ‘The Pacific Regional Data Repository for Sustainable Energy for All (PRDR SE4ALL) is going to be a one-stop-shop that will support the many partners, one team approach to addressing the energy security challenges of the region,’ according to Mr Gerald Zackios, Director of SPC’s North Pacific Regional Office. He was speaking at the opening of the PRDR consultation workshop held in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) last week.
‘There’s more. The PRDR will document, share and store up-to-date, reliable energy data, project information and experiences; it will support accountability, efficiency and evidence-based decision making; and it will link the Pacific to the global tracking framework of the United Nations’ SE4ALL Initiative,’ he continued.
Energy is an enabler. It is an enabler of transport, health, fast internet and mobile communications; it is an enabler of gender equality, of safe drinking water, and of food and nutrition. However, for the Pacific Islands and other small island developing states, advancing this key role of energy is a huge challenge, due to a major information and data bottleneck that has plagued the energy sector of small island developing states for a long time.
Pacific leaders support the PRDR and signed a landmark declaration last year to work together in making it a reality. More recently, energy ministers from around the region have tasked the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) with developing and hosting the PRDR.
‘We have to transform the leaders’ commitments to buy-ins at the departmental and operational levels; hence these national workshops,’ said Frank Vukikomoala – SPC’s Energy Database Officer and officer responsible for the PRDR.
The FSM workshop follows Palau’s workshop, which was held earlier in the week. Both workshops were financially supported by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), the EU-funded Northern Pacific ACP Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Programme (North REP) and the Australian Government.
Participants at the workshop include representatives from the power utilities, energy offices, petroleum companies, customs, energy commissions, statistics and Japan International Cooperation Agency.
‘These participants are energy data providers. They fully appreciate the PRDR and its goals. We have resolved data-sharing challenges and the participants have willingly provided their energy data and information. The PRDR will only be as good as the data that go into it, and we are grateful for the support from Palau and FSM. We are also grateful for the continued leadership of UN ESCAP and the Kingdom of Tonga in the PRDR,’ said Solomone Fifita – Deputy Director of SPC’s Energy Programme.