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Third Project Steering Committee Meeting - Vanuatu Klaemaet Infomesen Blong Redy, Adapt mo Protekt (Van-KIRAP)

The Vanuatu Klaemaet Infomesen blong Redy, Adapt mo Protekt (Van KIRAP) project held its third Steering Committee (Van-KIRAP SC-3) Meeting on 28 May 2019 at the Melanesia Hotel, Port Vila, Vanuatu.

The Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-hazards Department (VMGD) of the Ministry of Climate Change in partnership with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) coordinated the meeting. The meeting renewed the commitment of the Government of Vanuatu and the SPREP to build the technical capacity of Vanuatu to harness and manage all relevant climate data to support application of climate information services (CIS) in all levels of society through real-time development processes for resilient outcomes.

The Chairman of the Van-KIRAP Steering Committee and Director General, Vanuatu Ministry of Climate Change, Mr Jesse Benjamin welcomed all members of the SC including those who traveled from abroad to attend the meeting; and emphasised the importance of the project and contribution of the partnerships in supporting sustainable development of Vanuatu.

The meeting examined and approved several key project documents such as the (a) revised Work Plan and budget (b) Annual Progress Report 2018 (c) Environmental Social Safeguards Management Plan and (d) Project Implementation Plan (PIP).

The meeting also endorsed at least 5 sector case studies that will demonstrate how climate information services (CIS) will be used by sector and community end users for decision making. The meeting also focused on how vertical and horizontal cooperation can strengthen climate adaptation and risk reduction actions through the mainstreaming of climate science and climate information services products and tools. Deliberations showed that enhanced collaboration between different government levels is needed to further strengthen the roll-out of solutions and their upscaling.

Several participants shared takeaway messages from the meeting, including the importance of: focusing on women’s empowerment as ‘champions’ of climate, land and natural resources; providing community farmer-friendly extension services; and making agriculture “cooler” in order to ensure the project’s engagement with women and young people. Van-KIRAP is a national project that aims to build the technical capacity of Vanuatu to harness and manage climate data; develop and deliver practical Climate Information Services (CIS) tools and resources; support enhanced coordination and dissemination of tailored information; enhance CIS information and technology infrastructure; and support the application of relevant CIS through real-time development process.

This is a flagship CIS project for the region with unique features that seeks to embed structures and processes within the five targeted sectors and the VMGD that will enable sectors and communities to incorporate climate information into planning and decision-making. These unique features include Sector Coordinators who will play a critical role in the development and application of CIS in key sector policy, planning and project processes; supporting delivery of sector specific activities and sector-based CIS mainstreaming. They will also focus on building capacity within each sector but also to enhance the uptake, understanding and application of CIS. Additionally, the sector coordinators will design and oversee implementation of the case studies and identify the processes/methodology to demonstrate CIS applications in real-time decision-making while building the capacity for users at relevant national, sub-national/local community levels in Vanuatu.

The sector case studies will led/coordinated by sectoral coordinators and will implement, evaluate and enhance best practice approaches to on-ground real-time application of CIS across multiple climate hazards and users and over multiple time-frames (sub-seasonal/seasonal/multi-decadal). The demonstration of real-time case studies in the sectors where CIS was mainstreamed in decision making contribute positively to resilience development will support understanding of cost-benefit-analysis and investments in CIS and early warning systems.

“The use and application of CIS needs to be mainstreamed into institutional arrangements within different levels of government; in order to underpin long-term sustainability of climate adaptation, disaster risk reduction and associated sustainable development outcomes for Vanuatu (and other Pacific SIDS) – and that is the objective of Van KIRAP” said Tagaloa Cooper-Halo, Director, Climate Change Resilience, SPREP.

The meeting brought together 16 representatives from the various Vanuatu governments and development partners. This consisted of Director Generals, Directors and senior officers from Ministry of Internal Affairs, Department of Local Authorities (DLA), Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD), Vanuatu Fisheries Department (VFD), Department of Tourism (DoT), Department of Water Resources (DoWR), Public Works Department (PWD), VMGD and SPREP.

The next steering committee meeting (Van-KIRAP SC-4) will be held in November 2019. To obtain further information about the project please visit https://www.facebook.com/VanKIRAP/

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