Platform providing rapid expert response on climate change to Pacific island countries officially launched
Pacific island countries and territories now have access to immediate response from global and Pacific experts on climate change with the launching of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme’s (SPREP) new Tomai Pacifique website.
The Tomai Pacifique network is a collaborative undertaking by SPREP and its development partners and donors with the aim or providing registry of experts who can provide assistance on various issues linked to climate change resilience including mitigation, adaptation, and food security.
More than 100 policy and technical experts on climate change are already registered on the Tomai Pacifique website, and their expert services are available to all Pacific island countries and territories.
Hon. Toesulusulu Cedric Schuster, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of the Government of Samoa, spoke on the importance of Pacific island countries and territories during the official launch held yesterday at the Pacific Climate Change Centre.
“The leaders of the Pacific have been collectively calling to amplify global action to limit global warming to 1.5C in order for us to secure the future of our blue Pacific,” he said.
“The launch of the Tomai platform will facilitate the Pacific’s rapid access to technical and advisory services and in the process, create or strengthen national capacity to effectively respond to climate change,” the Honourable Minister added.
Tomai Pacifique includes a Rapid Response Fund (RRF) which will finance the rapid deployment of experts or technical assistance into Pacific Island countries upon demand.
SPREP’s Acting Director General, Ms Easter Chu Shing, said, “The establishment of Tomai Pacifique and the RRF is a step in the right direction towards ‘transformative change’ needed to efficiently provide expertise to the region to in order to serve the priority needs of Pacific Island countries in relation to climate change.”
Speaking on the history of the Tomai Pacifique platform and how it came about, SPREP’s Director of Climate Change Resilience, Ms Tagaloa Cooper said that the platform was a result of the demand by Pacific island countries which sometimes fell through the gaps of project funding granted to Council of Regional Organisations in the Pacific (CROP) agencies.
“Sometimes requests from Pacific island countries and territories fall outside of the scope of projects we implement. In addition, our agencies sometimes do not have the required support and yet requests from members are because they are priorities for technical assistance," she said.
"This is why we have Tomai Pacifique. It is the result of those needs that fall just outside existing work but are critical to building national resilience."
“While it might not be the answer to everything, it is the answer to getting the experts to the countries and the rapid response fund to dispatch assistance for our countries requests that fall outside of our agreed programmes."
“This system is aptly named to signify wisdom, experience, and knowledge from within the Pacific region to assist in the pursuit of the best solutions and bringing the best expertise where they are needed. It is a reflection of the Pacific way which promotes the spirit of cooperation and talanoa to find the best solution,” she concluded as saying.
Ms Cooper encouraged all Pacific islanders, as well as non-Pacific islanders with climate change expertise to visit the Tomai Pacifique website to join the existing network of 150 climate change experts who will give assistance to our Pacific island countries.