Participants of the AREAN Inception Workshop with UNDP Samoa and Bangkok staff who are in Niue to facilitate the training. Photo credit: UNDP/2019

Niue’s much-anticipated renewable energy project is now underway with the implementation of the 2-day Inception Workshop for the AREAN Project.

AREAN is the Accelerating Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Applications in Niue project which focuses on helping Niue achieve climate and energy security, which has been its main goal for the past years.

The Project Document signing for AREAN took place on September 29th 2019 between the Government of Niue and the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP which will put Niue a step closer to achieving its goal.

The AREAN project is funded by the Global Environment Facility, GEF, through its implementing partner, UNDP.

The inception workshop, held from October 30th-31st, aims to assist the project team to understand and take ownership of the project’s goals and objectives, as well as finalize preparation of the project’s first annual workplan.

The project focuses mainly on accelerating renewable energy and energy efficiency. It aims to enable the achievement of low carbon energy access, sustainable energy and green growth targets as stated in Niue’s Sustainable Energy Road Map (NiSERM). The NiSERM is the basis of the country’s latest National Determined Contribution under the Paris Agreement, and forms part of the Government’s plan to move away from fossil fuels and reach the target of 80% of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2025.

“It is an honor to be here this morning to open this important workshop for the AREAN Project, which will implement Niue’s low carbon incentives and ensure other sources of energy become more energy efficient,” said Hon Pokotoa Sipeli, Niue’s Minister of Infrastructure.

“I would like to acknowledge and thank the UNDP Resident Representative and UNDP team for the hard work with our Government in Niue to ensure all important milestones are achieved.  I would also like to acknowledge NZ AID (MFAT), EU, Japan, AusAID (DFAT) and others. I also acknowledge the continuous support to Niue of regional agencies like SPC, USP, SPREP and IUCN for capacity building work which is important collaboration to achieve our renewable energy targets.”

“Our everyday lives depend on reliable and affordable energy services. A well-established energy system supports all sectors from businesses, medicine and education, to agriculture, infrastructure, communications and high technology. As such, it is a key enabler for achieving the Sustainable Energy for all initiatives by the Secretary General and the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030,” said Mr Jorn Sorensen, UNDP’s Resident Representative.

In the recent UN Climate Summit in September 2019, concrete messages about the urgency to act in light of the climate emergency and the accelerating effects were highlighted, and the need to scale up national climate action by implementing and enhancing NDCs. Through the AREAN project, Niue will be able to increase the ambition and target for NDCs.  

“I would like to acknowledge and congratulate the Government of Niue and all stakeholders involved in the project design, approval and endorsement by the Government of Niue via the project signing ceremony.  I would also like to make note of the close collaboration with the New Zealand High Commission in ensuring complementarity of our respective initiatives and acknowledge the Government of NZ for co-financing the project as well as other donor agencies and organizations,” said Mr Sorensen.

The workshop brings together relevant stakeholders, agencies, and ministries who will work together to achieve the goals of the Project. The relevant Government Ministries/Departments/Corporations that are attending the Inception Workshop are: MNR (Ministry of Natural Resources) including the GEF Official Focal Point, DoT (Department of Transport), NDB (Niue Development Bank), NPC (Niue Power Corporation) and others. The staff from UNDP Samoa MCO and UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub will be assisting the Ministry of Infrastructure who are the implementing partner in facilitating this workshop.

-ENDS-

For more information, please contact:
Andre Siohane - Andre.Siohane@mail.gov.nu
Felicia Pihigia - Felicia.Pihigia@mail.gov.nu
Yvette Kerslake, UNDP MCO Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa and Tokelau
Tel: (685) 23670 Ext 21; email: yvette.kerslake@undp.org

For more information on the project please visit the UNDP Samoa website www.ws.undp.org and follow @UNDPSamoa on Twitter and Facebook

UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in more than 170 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations.

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) was established on the eve of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit to help tackle the planet’s most pressing environmental problems.   Since then, GEF has provided over $17 billion in grants and mobilized an additional $88 billion in financing for more than 4000 projects in 170 countries.

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