Ridge To Reef Pro­gramme Launched

“This ground break­ing pro­gramme is seek­ing to ad­dress some of the most crit­i­cal en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues from ridge to reef in 14 Pa­cific SIDS”

Fiji Sun - - Suncity - LI­TIA TIKOMAILEPANONI Edited by Ru­si­ate Mataika Feed­back: li­tia.tikomailepanoni@fi­jisun.com.fj

Main­tain­ing and con­serv­ing the ecosys­tems from ridge to reef is crit­i­cal to the sur­vival of Fiji and other Pa­cific Is­land states, says Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment, Hous­ing and En­vi­ron­ment per­ma­nent sec­re­tary Joshua Wy­cliffe. Mr Wy­cliffe was speak­ing dur­ing the launch of the Pa­cific Ridge to Reef (R2R) Pro­gramme at the First Re­gional Steer­ing Com­mit­tee meet­ing for the Global En­vi­ron­ment Fa­cil­ity’s Pa­cific Ridge to Reef pro­gramme at the Tanoa In­ter­na­tional Ho­tel in Nadi yes­ter­day.

“Small Is­land de­vel­op­ing states share unique and in­ti­mate in­ter­con­nec­tions be­tween land, wa­ter and coastal sys­tems, with high vul­ner­a­bil­ity to cli­matic changes and lim­ited hu­man re­source ca­pac­ity mak­ing a strong case for the R2R,” Mr Wy­cliffe said. “This ground break­ing pro­gramme is seek­ing to ad­dress some of the most crit­i­cal en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues from ridge to reef in 14 Pa­cific SIDS.” The five-year pro­gramme is to guide the in­vest­ment of the $186.63 mil­lion (US$91) mil­lion pack­age of GEF grants, and $682.95 mil­lion (US$ 333 mil­lion) of co-fi­nanc­ing from the par­tic­i­pat­ing coun­tries and other devel­op­ment part­ners. UNDP Pa­cific Of­fice in Fiji Team Leader Re­silience and Sus­tain­able devel­op­ment Kevin Petrini said “Im­por­tantly, the out­comes of this pro­gramme will also pro­vide valu­able in­sights and lessons learned that can be shared for repli­ca­tion be­tween coun­tries in the Pa­cific. “We will closely co­or­di­nate with the other UN agen­cies and the SPC to en­sure achieve­ment of pro­gramme ob­jec­tives, “he said. UNDP is the lead agency in the re­gional pro­gramme whereby 13 na­tional projects are di­rectly im­ple­mented by the coun­tries and a re­gional pro­gramme sup­port project im­ple­mented by the Sec­re­tar­iat of the Pa­cific Com­mu­nity-(SPC). “We are proud to part­ner with the GEF, its im­ple­ment­ing agen­cies and Pa­cific small is­land de­vel­op­ing states in de­liv­er­ing this very im­por­tant en­vi­ron­men­tal ini­tia­tive in the re­gion by con­nect­ing peo­ple with the con­ser­va­tion and preser­va­tion of their en­vi­ron­ment for sus­tained and en­hanced liveli­hoods and re­silience,” said SPC Deputy Di­rec­tor Gen­eral Dr Au­drey Au­mua. The four-day meet­ing ends on Thurs­day.

Photo: Arin Ku­mar

The Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary for Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment, Hous­ing and En­vi­ron­ment, Joshua Wy­cliffe (front, sev­enth from left), with par­tic­i­pants at the in­cep­tion workshop and 1st Re­gional Steer­ing Com­mit­tee Meet­ing for the GEF Pa­cific Ridge to Reef Pro­gramme at the Tanoa In­ter­na­tional Ho­tel in Nadi yes­ter­day.

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