Port Vila, Vanuatu – A new project that will draw upon local community knowledge and expertise in North Efate to better manage coastal resources has been launched today by the Pacific Community (SPC) and Vanuatu stakeholders.
The restoration of ecosystems services and adaptation to climate change project (RESCCUE) is being implemented regionally until the end of 2018, with pilot sites in Fiji, New Caledonia, French Polynesia and Vanuatu.
In Vanuatu, its goals are to improve the resilience of North Efate’s population to the impacts of climate change and of natural hazards, such as tropical cyclones, through integrated coastal management.
The project will combine expertise from local communities, government agencies and international organisations to trial appropriate methods for activities, including managing invasive species, improving waste disposal, sustainable fishing practices, managing community protected areas, developing sustainable livelihoods and using economic and financial tools.
“We’re pleased to see operational activities getting under way thanks to the interest and commitment of community members and the government,” RESCCUE Project Coordinator at SPC, Dr Raphaël Billé, said at the launch event in North Efate.
Villages from Mangaliuliu to Malarip will work closely with national government agencies, Shefa Provincial Government and non-government organisations projects in the area.
RESCCUE will set up information-sharing tools so that techniques and ways of managing resources can be shared between the North Efate villages – to work towards local needs being met by local information.
Lessons learned and information materials developed by SPC and GIZ through the Coping with Climate Change in the Pacific Island Region programme will also be shared throughout North Efate.
The RESCCUE project is funded primarily by the French Development Agency and the French Global Environment Facility and implemented by SPC in conjunction with the project manager, Opus International Consultants, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and External Trade, the national steering committee and numerous local partners.
The first national steering committee meeting took place on Tuesday, attended by representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and External Trade, SPC, national government departments concerned with the project, provincial representatives and other stakeholders.
The RESCCUE launch follows the signing earlier this week of a five-year agreement between the Vanuatu Government and SPC covering collaboration to sustainable development outcomes.