Opening Remarks by Lizbeth Cullity for the LDCF EWACC Project Inception Workshop

Apr 16, 2015

Dear all, thank you very much for the opportunity to give some opening remarks here today

It is a pleasure to be part of this inception workshop that is focusing on the launch and implementation of the Economy-wide integration of climate change adaptation and disaster risk management to reduce climate vulnerability of communities in Samoa (acronym – EWACC) Project

We can no longer think of development, without taking into account the impacts that climate change. From increased rainfall periods and droughts to sea level rise and extreme events, climate change devastating effects are a constant threat and in some cases, already reversing hard fought economic gains and development efforts, pushing populations back below poverty lines in many regions. Income-generating opportunities are threatened in rural areas and inequality is further increasing. And as we witnessed during Cyclone Evan and Cyclone Pam, it is the poorest and most marginalized that are affected the most.  

In UNDP, we have worked with the Government of Samoa to tackle climate change from different fronts: coastal protection, impacts to the forestry and tourism sectors, addressing food security and human health concerns… However, it has become evident that a plethora of programmes and projects are not adequately coordinated and further, lessons learned and results are not necessarily being fed into new initiatives. The Government of Samoa has expressed its concern in ensuring that a mechanism is set up, whereby all efforts towards ensuring a climate-resilient development are coordinated, mainstreamed, and build on each other to be more effective in the response to climate change threats. 

It is because of this, that the new LDCF initiative is an “economy-wide” approach. While it was designed to address immediate and urgent infrastructure and livelihoods concerns, ensuring the empowerment of women and youth, it is also aimed to be the vehicle by which the Government of Samoa starts integrating climate change risks into planning and budgeting for development programmes in all sectors, with the participation of all Ministries. It is also important to emphasize that the Government of Samoa will utilize LDCF resources to advance on its National Adaptation Plan process, as all of the above are the essential elements of the “NAP”, as envisioned by the UNFCCC, and which will lead Samoa into establishing sound national frameworks for improved climate finance readiness. 

Finally, I want to thank the government of Samoa, and in particular MNRE, for the many hours and days of work you have put into the development of this project, I truly believe that Samoa is one of the Pacific Island states that has come the furthest in developing ways to adapt to climate change.

I hope you will have a very good workshop with fruitful discussions and cooperation.

We look forward to the continued collaboration with the government and the communities of Samoa on this project and other ongoing and new projects.

Faafetai tele Lava!

 

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