NGO News Desk :: A recently-launched regional initiative to improve online access to current and accurate climate-relevant information reached yet another landmark this week as Northern Pacific users of the Pacific Climate Change Portal came together in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia, to undergo training on using and contributing to this regionally-owned information system.
The Pacific Climate Change Portal is an online platform designed to enable Pacific island nations to take responsibility for regional information sharing into their own hands. Once trained, in-country personnel will receive administrative access, enabling them to upload information directly on to the portal.
“Access to accurate, scientifically valid, Pacific-relevant information will enable more informed decisions in responding to the impacts of and adapting to climate change,” said Mr Kosi Latu, Deputy Director General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).
Speaking at the opening of the 3-day sub-regional workshop, Mr Latu reiterated that the Portal would only be as effective as the input at the national level.
“Although SPREP is leading and managing the development of the Portal, we are doing that with the support of several other partners, and that includes the participants at this workshop – your input is critical if the portal is to reach its full potential.”
The Portal is the result of requests from Pacific island countries for a centralised approach to information sharing on climate change around the region. The resulting mechanism includes information on current projects and initiatives in climate change, a register of experts, a projects database, documents database, a calendar of events, and a country profile section. Most of these will rely on direct updating by country personnel.
“We see the Pacific Climate Change Portal as a hub that will bring together tailored information of relevance to our own people – information that is currently scattered across the region and within our countries,” said Mr Simpson Abraham, Coordinator of the Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Project in Federated States of Micronesia.
“It will also be a way of keeping track of what different donors and CROP (Council of Regional Organisations in the Pacific) agencies are doing in climate change in the countries.” Participants at the workshop agreed that there was also a need to systematise information flows at national level in order to enable such coordination.
The Pacific Climate Change Portal is coordinated by SPREP in partnership with a growing number of organisations including Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), University of the South Pacific (USP),Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS),The German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) and the European Union’s Global Climate Change Alliance for the Pacific Small Island States programme, based at SPC (GCCA-PSIS).
Ongoing financial and technical support in developing and maintaining the portal is being provided by GIZ.
The EU GCCA-PSIS at based at SPC has provided financial, technical and logistical support for the Northern Pacific sub-regional training programme. Support was also provided by the Asia Pacific Adaptation Network. The first training of this kind held in Suva, Fiji last year, was funded and supported by the International Climate Change Adaptation Initiative of the Australian government and GIZ.