India assures of ongoing support on climate early warning system

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BY JARED KOLI

IN NADI, FIJI

SOLOMON Islands is among seven other Pacific island countries that the Government of India has assured of ongoing support to train its human resources on climate early warning system.

This is according to High Commissioner of India to the Republic of Fiji. Mr Vishvas Sapkal during his address at the start of a weeklong media climate capacity building workshop held at the Tanoa International Hotel in Nadi, Fiji yesterday.

“As a next phase, the project will focus on identifying talent from the participating countries so that the next training needs can be better encapsulated and a follow through programme can be developed to place emphasis on continuous learning,” HE Mr Sapkal said.

The seven focus pacific island countries under the Indian government’s commitment through the India are Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands and Tonga.

“We will welcome further collaboration with UNDP to ensure that the good work that is being started under this climate early warning system,” he adds.

The Climate Early Warning Systems (CLAW) in the Pacific island countries project is an initiative funded by the UN-India Development Partnership Fund and implemented by the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji with support from the Government of India.

The India-UN Development Partnership Fund was launched by Minister of State for External Affairs of India HE Mr MJ Akbar in June 2017 in New York for supporting South-South Cooperation.

Earlier this year, in June to July 2018, Seventeen Pacific Hydrologists from the seven participating countries including the Solomons, traveled to Roorkee, India for a one-month intensive and specialized training at the National Institute of Hydrology in Roorke, India.

HE Mr Sapkal said India stands strongly behind its pacific compatriots as it feel their capacity to address climate change must be supported as climate change ultimately affects both large and small economies.

Meanwhile, Mr Sapkal challenged the role of government agencies, civil societies and the media to help fight calamities associated to the effects caused by climate change as many lives have lost and properties have damaged, although people have shown resilience.

The weeklong media climate capacity building workshop is also a collaboration between the United Nation Development Program (UNDP) Pacific Office in Fiji, the Pacific Environment Journalists Network (PEJN), with support from the Indian Government through the India-UN Development Partnership Fund.

Yesterday, participants have learned to understand the science of Climate Early Warning Systems, how it works in the pacific and how it relates to climate change. A panel discussion by senior journalists from the pacific was also convened to identify challenges and how to improve climate reporting in the pacific.

The workshop designed at strengthening knowledge and empowering the ability of journalists from the Pacific Islands including those from the seven focus countries – the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands and Tonga to report accurately and more regularly on Climate Early Warning Systems and related issues.

It aims to improving networking and partnerships amongst Pacific Island reporters and regional climate change experts, ensuring a regular flow of information and post activity.

“Improved news content in Pacific Island media through the conceptualizing, discussion and development of a range of relevant news and in-depth stories over the duration of the activity/workshops highlighting Climate Early Warning Systems and related issues.”

The goal will be to inculcate amongst these regional journalists a sense that these issues can be prominently mainstreamed into their daily reporting activities, instead of one-off seasonal events such as a cyclone or torrential flooding.

The workshop ends, Friday.

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