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Pacific Island Trade & Investment Commission, Australia
A capacity building programme for officials of Pacific Island governments to help them tap funds for renewable energy and other ecologically friendly programmes for their respective countries that was under way in the Cook Islands this week concludes today.
Planned and coordinated by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and the Apia, Samoa headquartered South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), the week long “Writeshop” hopes to hone the skills of officials to research and write viable proposals. Several trial proposals have been written during the course of the workshop that will stand the participants in good stead when they return to their countries.
Though funds for renewable projects are available from funding agencies around the world, many smaller nations lack the resources and the experience to put together formal proposals to tap these funds in a manner that the financing agencies can consider according to the norms and standards that they apply for assessing projects.
Participants included officials from the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
Funding from the Pacific Environment Community Fund and the Pacific Islands Greenhouse Gas Abatement through Renewable Energy Project (PIGGAREP) made the workshop possible.
Administered by the Forum Secretariat, the Pacific Environment Community Fund is a US$66 million commitment from Japan to support Forum Island Country projects in solar power generation systems and seawater desalination plants, or a combination of both.
PIGGAREP aims at reducing the growth rate of greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel use in the islands through the removal of the barriers to effective use of renewable energy technologies. It is administered by SPREP.