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Noteworthy | Events | Staff Movements | Pacific Brief

October 2009: Volume 2


Highlights from the last quarter

Asia Pacific – Community-Based Adaptation (CBA) Small Grants Project (SGP) Workshop, Apia, Samoa, 26 August - 2 September 2009

The official opening of the Asia-Pacific-Community-Based Adaptation (CBA) Workshop in Apia, on the 26th August 2009, marked a milestone achievement for the Pacific Small Grant Project family. The Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP) in 15 Pacific countries sent their National Coordinators and members of their National Steering Committees. The aim was to introduce them to the processes and requirements of the CBA Programme. The GEF SGP, AusAID and NZAid are the three main donors for the CBA programme, and their representatives were also participating at this Workshop. The CBA Workshop focussed on community-based projects that seek to enhance the resiliency of the most vulnerable communities to climate change impacts, through local-level climate risk management projects. Lessons were shared and learned from CBA community pilot project experiences in Samoa and Jamaica. These projects can be used to promote replication of successful community practices, and integration of lessons into national and sub-national policies that reduce vulnerability to climate change impacts, from the community level to the national level. The highlight of the Workshop was a visit to Fasitoo-tai Village where the participants  not only visited and saw the project site and how climate change has impacted on the ecosystem and the lives of the people there, but were also introduced to the Samoan culture and village institutional structure, which play a big part on how a Samoan village make their decisions and enable the mobilization of resources and community with regards to any response to climate change.

The UN-REDD Inception Workshop for Vietnam, Hanoi, Vietnam, September 15-17  

The $4.38 million UN-REDD Vietnam Programme was launched at an inception workshop held in Ha Noi on 17 September 2009.The workshop was attended by more than 100 participants, representing Vietnamese and international partners, central and local government, and a diverse range of non-governmental organizations, representing academia, civil society and environmental groups.The workshop allowed the three cooperating UN agencies of the UN-REDD Programme (UNDP, UNEP and FAO) to meet with the Programme Management Unit staff, to review implementation arrangements and agree on procedures to be followed for work planning and reporting. The participants were provided with a comprehensive overview of the programme itself and the policies to be followed during implementation. Participants then discussed the overall approach to the UN-REDD Vietnam Programme as well as plans for the proposed outcomes of the Programme. The debate focused on opportunities for collaboration with other partners and appropriate timing for the different activities. Key stakeholders were able to comment on the programme before more detailed planning, deadlines, budgeting and resources, and indicator setting took place. Participation was enthusiastic and constructive.  For example, Hoang Minh Ha of the World Agroforestry Centre and the Centre for International Forestry Research observed that while the “Quick Start” initiative was excellent, it was also important to start thinking from the beginning about sustainability of the results.  Ambassador Torstein Risa commented that, given the speed with which the UN-REDD Programme proposal had been approved by the Government, he looked forward to seeing Viet Nam becoming one of the real success stories, not only for UN-REDD, but in the broader REDD arena. See the Special Climate Change Feature of this newsletter for more information on UN-REDD in Viet Nam.


The Sustainable Economic Development through Renewable Energy Applications (SEDREA) project Inception Workshop, Koror, Palau 24-25 June

The Sustainable Economic Development through Renewable Energy Applications (SEDREA) project is a three years joint initiative by the Government of the Republic of Palau, UNDP and GEF. The objective of the US$1.1 million project is the reduction of fossil fuel consumption in power generation through removal of barriers to widespread use of renewable energy technologies. The SEDREA project Inception Workshop was attended by representatives from the Senate, House of Delegates, Palau Energy Office (PEO), National Development Bank of Palau (NDBP), Palau Utility Corporation (PPUC), and UNDP. Among others, NDBP reconfirmed that the proposed activities are part of establishing a Renewable Energy Fund Window (REFW) in an effort to expand NDB’s loan program to cover renewable energy. In addition PPUC confirmed the relevance of the proposed activities in the power sector and requested that the study on renewable energy electricity pricing and financial incentives study could be undertaken as a matter of urgency. Therefore it was agreed that for the remainder of 2009 two key activities will be supported to review the tariff of PPUC as well as undertake the preparatory phase to expand NDBP’s loan program to cover renewable energy.



Local Government's Role in Environment, Natural Resource Management and Climate Change, Bangkok, October 5-6

This workshop is organized by the Poverty-Environment Initiative. It is to inform country programmes on ongoing or planned work on local government support, decentralization and environment and climate mainstreaming.  Approximately 35 government representatives and UNDP Environment Focal Points from  the six PEI countries in the Asia-Pacific Region (Bangladesh, Bhutan, Lao PDR, Nepal, Thailand and Timor Leste) will attend.

Write-shop for Regional Good Practices in Expanding Access to Energy Services for the Poor, Bangkok, November 9-12

A write-shop designated project staff of selected best energy access projects. The writeshop will guide the authors to document best practices in expanding access to energy services for the poor.

Project Inception Workshops

The following UNDP supported projects will hold inception workshops in the next quater:

  • The Advancing Development of Marshall Islands Renewable Energies (ADMIRE) project

  • Community-based Adaptation through Coastal Afforestation Project in Bangladesh, a NAPA follow-up project - 29 October

  • Promoting Climate-Resilient Water Management and Agricultural Practices in Cambodia, a NAPA follow-up project - 22 October