Tokelau applauds Pacific’s climate change centre to be based at SPREP

The Pacific Climate Change Centre (PCCC) will be hosted within the SPREP complex in Apia, Samoa.

The Pacific region is a step closer to having its own Pacific Climate Change Centre (PCCC) set to open in July 2018, and Tokelau’s head of climate change Mrs Paula Faiva is excited about the positive progress in this area.
“It’s fantastic,” said Mrs Faiva. “Even more so that it will be based in SPREP so its only one boat trip from the atolls.”

The PCCC will be funded by the Government of Japan under Grant Aid to the Government of Samoa and Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), with the aim of strengthening the resilience of Pacific countries and territories to climate change. Construction will be tendered in 2017 and the centre is expected to be operational by July 2018.

Mr. Kazunao Shibata, the Japanese Team Leader for the Preparatory Survey Mission believes the PCCC will provide the necessary capacity and capability to address climate change issues in a variety of areas such as “strategic planning, training and demonstration of eco-friendly technologies.”

It sets-up the Centre to become a one-stop Pacific-wide ‘Climate Change’ shop containing all the necessary training and meeting facilities to tackle new technological challenges and developments, especially in the key areas of climate change science and meteorology. It will also hold the status of a World Meteorological (WMO) Regional Climate Centre (RCC) for the Pacific region.

The ‘Pacific climate hub’ role expected of the PCCC means growth and a significant achievement all SPREP members should be thankful for according to Mrs Faiva.
The SPREP complex (above), with the PCCC location indicated (below).
“Whether the PCCC is in Samoa, Fiji, Niue or wherever in the region, it is a most critical development for us to properly address our number one priority – climate change.”

Which is why, “Tokelau fully supports Samoa’s call to centralize the region’s climate change programs at the PCCC.

“It makes sense. The more we centralize our programmes the more united we become, and the stronger we will be able to lobby and push our climate change positions on the international stage. The end goal is that not one Pacific country or territory is left behind.”

Mrs Faiva acknowledged the hard work of SPREP on behalf of its 26 member countries.

“Tokelau values the support received from SPREP over the years and as a member, we bank on our Pacific intergovernmental agencies like SPREP to fight for the inclusion of highly vulnerable members like Tokelau with climate resourcing, as well as representing our interests at international climate fora and negotiations.”
EyeOfTheStorm-600 Mrs Paula Faiva (R) with Su'a William Sio, NZ Member of Parliament (L), Dr Kosi Latu, SPREP Director General (2nd L), and Mr Roger Cornforth, SPREP's Deputy Director at the 'Eye of the Storm' conference in Wellington, NZ, February 2016. Photo F. Tauafiafi.

By Lealaiauloto Aigaletaule’ale’a F Tauafiafi