The board members of the Climate Early Warning System (CLEWS) project met in Rarotonga, Cook Islands between January 28-30, 2019 to renew the commitment of the partners to work together to strengthen knowledge sharing, improve networking and coordination, foster ownership and, face challenges of hydrology and water related issues in the Pacific.
Participants included high-level representatives from Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands and Tonga. The Indian High Commissioner H.E. Mr. Vishvas Sapkal participated via teleconference from Fiji. Delegates from Fiji and Samoa joined the meeting as observers.
Representatives from the National Institute of Hydrology in India, New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, Secretariat of the Pacific Community and the Secretariat of the Pacific Environment Programme and, the Pacific Environment Journalist Network were also in attendance.
The $1million CLEWS project, funded by the Government of India will enhance human and technological capacities on climate and hydrology warning systems by the end of 2019. The project is being implemented by the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji through the India-UN Development Partnership Fund, administered by the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC).
“With the assistance of the UNDP Pacific team, we can continue to demonstrate to the Government of India how useful their funds are to adapt to Climate Change in the Hydrology and Hydrogeology sector in the Pacific,” stated Mr. Taaniela Kula, Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Lands & Natural Resources, Tonga to demonstrate the goodwill generated by the CLEWS project among the partner countries.
The participating countries, including Cook Islands, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Solomon Islands and Tonga, have also committed financial resources as well as personnel during project design and implementation.
In December 2018, 20 senior and aspiring journalists from nine countries around the Pacific Region completed a week-long regional training and media workshop in Nadi, Fiji through a partnership with the Pacific Environment Journalist Network. The workshop has been successful in raising the profile of climate impacts in communities across the Pacific and 37 pieces of media articles were generated as a direct outcome of the workshop.
Since its inception in September 2018, the CLEWS project has also successfully funded a 4-week capacity development training of 17 Pacific Hydrologists in the National Institute of Hydrology in Roorkee, India. The results of this initiative were very positive because of the introduction and exposure provided to latest hydrology techniques and ways of addressing water shortage and contamination related issues.
“Climate Change is real, water is Life, investing in human resources, appropriate technologies and adequate infrastructures safeguards continuous access to safe drinking water for all,” reiterated Mr. Reboama Samuel, Representative of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Cook Islands.
The India-UN Fund was established in June 2017 in the spirit of South-South cooperation to meet the national development objectives of partner countries and to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. The partnership between the Governments of participating nations and Government of India is based on the South-South Cooperation principles of mutual benefit, sovereignty, ownership, equality, non-conditionality and non-interference.
UNOSSC is the Fund Manager and Secretariat of the Board of Directors of the India-UN Development Partnership Fund; supporting and guiding through the overall project cycle.