About thirty senior officers from the ministries of Agriculture and Livestock with Environment Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology and SWoCK project officers have completed a three day training last week on Vulnerability and Adaptation (V &A) at the Honiara Hotel.
Facilitated by UNDP’s Strongem Waka long Community for Kakai, (SWoCK) the training aims to increase the understanding and the use of different vulnerability concepts and terms and appropriate application in vulnerability assessment, gain some insight in the use of different V&A toolkits used in the region and develop skills and knowledge to develop a draft standard V &A toolkit which integrates climate change, framing systems and land use planning for agriculture and food security.
The need to hold such training was necessary because even though V&A assessments were carried out at the early stages of the implementation of the SWoCK project, there is lack of proper documentation and gaps in information that need to be filled. The training is seen as an opportunity for project staff and partners to understand different tools and approaches taken by practitioners that will enable the teams to identify shortfalls and strategies to better improve their V&A activities.
The training will also capacitate government officers to plan, lead and carry out V&A for other communities in Solomon Islands.
In opening the three day training, United Nations Environment Programme Analyst Lynelle Popot said “Vulnerability and Adaptation assessment is an important tool that will assist us to plan and answer relevant questions like, how expose are our agriculture, water systems in the communities within our provinces to the impacts of Climate Change and if so, will they be negative impacts due to climate change on farming or agriculture systems we practice”.
“V &A assessment process sets the baseline for intervention thus the process is crucial. As practitioners, it will be your role to agree on the data collected from the field and assessment findings thus the importance of this training and which is what this training is for,” Ms Popot said.
Officers involved in the training are from provinces in which SWoCK is working with such as Guadalcanal, Makira, Malaita, Isabel and Choiseul provinces. They include Chief Field Officers, Women in Agriculture, Climate Change officers and land use and other officers from the Ministry of Agriculture and environment. It also includes SWoCK officers in Honiara and those in the provinces.
Director of Climate Change of the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology, Douglas Yee said “with a built capacity in V&A, it would improve our understanding of vulnerability and risks in the agriculture sector and on food security which is ever becoming and increasing concern throughout the world”.
Mr Yee said that with a world facing the variable effects of Climate Change, Vulnerability and Adaptation assessment is an important tool to address the problems as one problem is addressed, another crops up.
“For at the back drop of existing problems, there comes the surfacing of new problems associated with the effects of Climate Change. And we must not leave anyone of them out of our assessments of vulnerability for if we do then we won’t be able to solve the problems. In our assessments of vulnerability or risks we should always consider the existing socio-economic and bio-physical glitches. Therefore the training is purposely to build the individual and institutional capacity. It is meant to create an opportunity for an improved understanding on the level of vulnerability with focus on agriculture and food security, said Douglas Yee.
The training ended on Saturday.