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”
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.
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.