Thursday, 26 May 2011

Your thoughts...

Michiline Time - Senior Journalism Student, National University of Samoa

What lessons have you learnt from this conference for future action?

“The important thing for me, from the Ministry of Affairs at Lucia, one of our task is to deal with the donors and one of the lessons I learned here in the Pacific is their approach to donor funding, it’s a little different from ours, they are actually able to capitalise donor support by allocating specific resources to specific individuals who just pretty much write proposals towards to donor agencies.  In the Caribbean it’s a little different; we have our unit to allocate a specific resource just to proposal writing.  For example, here in Samoa, there’s an individual whose responsibility is to write proposals and because of that Samoa now has been enjoying a lot of more donor aid because they have the expertise in that area. That is one of the things I’m going to take back to St. Lucia, to try and  implement that in our institutional structures.  Because of our small capacity we tend to have people doing multiple tasks but if we concentrate, at least one individual, two or three concentrates solely on writing these proposals - truly donor agencies will be able to bring in more donors support to our country so that’s one of the important lesson that I learned and I’m definitely taking it back.”
Kimberly Louis – St Lucia (Caribbean)

“Of course all the themes has been discussed  and they are all relevant but what’s really required from a very small island perspective like Tuvalu, of course there are numbers of studies and assessments some capacity building exercises going on at the moment so what’s highly required now is to do something on the ground and I think that we need to discuss that more. We are now facing  the problems  - coastal erosion, problems with storm surges and hurricanes etc. so from the perspective of communities at a very low level they need something that’s concrete to be constructed and established rather than just talking and talking. To apply all that has been discussed here, I think the best way is to convene a workshop or consultation with communities, letting them know all this situations or what has been practiced in the Caribbean, in India oceans and in some of the Pacific countries and then try to adapt them to our policies or action plans.”
Mataio Tekinene – Tuvalu

“There have been a lot of issues discussed, some every important issues but one of the things that I would like to explore with my team here in the meeting is the possibility of exploring other renewable energy resources especially based on the presentation that was done by the Caribbean. What we will probably do  is conduct a sustainability assessment on some of the other alternative renewable energy resources around the country to help us with medication aspects. I could learn more from the Caribbean on especially how they build adapted capacity around some of these vulnerable sectors. We have NAPA [National Adaptation Programmes of Action], they are in place of what we need to do is source other available funds either through the adaptation fund which is something that we need to do. One other thing that we will do is request UNDP to help us source adaptation funds.”
Albert Williams – Vanuatu

"My response is that there is still a tremendous a lot of work to be done in small islands. We recognise our vulnerability, recognise the fact that the rest of the world does not appear to be as concerned as we are about the risk that we are facing, the destruction that it has caused, devastation of lives, our economies and services have been affected.  We know that there’s a lot that we have to do, so what is clear and what has come up at this conference is that we need money to support the work that we need to do to adapt to the impacts of climate change.  Every single fabric of our existence is affected by the potential impacts either ongoing, recent experiences of potential future impacts of climate change. There’s no getting away from the fact that, we must find some ways some needs of addressing those issues if we are to survive small islands in the global environment. One thing has come up very clearly is that we have some of the answers, we recognise the importance and need for science in doing this, recognise the need for getting the science to inform us of some actions that we need to take but that is not enough.  We need the support of the outside world with the resources and finances to make meaningful change. Small amounts of money cannot go far enough into securing the kinds of impacts we want, we want long term impacts, and we need to know that 30 years down the road the actions we take today are beneficial to us. A lot of work has to be done.”
Keith Nichols – OECS [St Lucia]

“From this conference, I’ve learned a lot from different countries that they want to come up with common ideas that will help our community to understand background of climate change and how to help each other and how to adapt to changes so this is a very important lesson for me. Every year we’re concerned about our people and our country - that’s what I want to take with me. That’s how we connect with our people with this very important issue of climate change. We have our own traditional way of dealing with the communities and to just take this outline, at the end of this conference I will see what can work in our comunities.”
Claire Anterea – Kiribati

“I think the conference really pressed upon the needs to consider local ownership, communities and engages communities fully when designing climate change adaptation and disastrous reduction programs. This is certainly developing, for AusAid we designed a new Pacific Regional Disastrous Management Program which we will definitely try and engage to use climate change adaptation and make sure that is a part of the program. The other aspect would be is really understanding the local context as well. I think one of the presentations this morning pointed to the diversity between the Islands and making sure that we really understand the different context. We’ll certainly be focusing on making sure we’re consulting fully with local community and recognising the different context of different Pacific Islands as we go through the design process and also in implementation.”
Rebecca McClean – AusAID Suva

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