Suva, Fiji – Fifteen countries are meeting this week in Nadi, Fiji, to finalise the competencies that will make up Pacific regional qualifications in sustainable energy and resilience, including climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction.
A follow-up to a planning meeting held last October, this work is part of the European Union Pacific Technical Vocational and Education Training (EU PacTVET) Project which is being jointly implemented by The University of the South Pacific (USP) and the Pacific Community (SPC).
It is also part of a EURO 6.1 million project which commenced in August 2014 under the Adapting to Climate Change and Sustainable Energy (ACSE) Programme and is funded under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF 10) Pacific regional envelope.
By having a regionally-accredited programme in Climate Change Adaptation and Sustainable Energy, the standards of training will be raised for climate change adaptation and disaster risk management in the Pacific, while at the same time increasing the potential employment opportunities for those who wish to study abroad or migrate within the region.
“The development of this course will provide the Solomon Islands and the region with an avenue to develop environmentally accepted practices of refrigeration and air conditioning for example, that conforms to international environmental conventions,” the Dean of the School of Technology and Maritime Studies for the Solomon Islands National University, Solomon Pita, stated.
“More importantly this will contribute to the capacity of the region to adapt to the impacts of climate change,” he added.
Discussions will also include the development of learning and support resources in order to meet the training needs for addressing climate change adaption and sustainable energy at the national and regional level, and the appropriate methods of delivery these services, as well as assessing these mechanisms.
The meeting will summarize the regional input used to develop regional qualifications in climate change adaptation and sustainable energy.
The European Union Deputy Head of Delegation, Johnny Engell-Hansen, said ”The European Union is looking forward to the outcomes of the meeting whereby the Pacific will, once again, lead the way to ensure a climate-resilient sustainable development. The adoption of Technical Vocational and Education Training in sustainable energy and climate resilience on a regional basis would be a world first.”
Running parallel to this meeting will be the Industry Standards Advisory Committees (ISAC) meeting which is the culmination of over six months of work by the EU PacTVET Project, in partnership with the Fiji Higher Education Commission (FHEC) and SPC’s Educational Quality and Assessment Programme (EQAP).
SPC’s education specialists are collaborating with the EU-PacTVET project partners to get the regional qualifications registered on the Pacific Register of Qualifications and Standards.
The two meetings will combine on the final day (Thursday 19 May) to endorse the creation of a new Certificate I-IV programme in Resilience and Sustainable Energy which will be regionally recognised.
The ISAC regional members include representatives from Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor Leste, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Tonga.