The Ministry of Natural resources & Environment (MNRE) has formalised its partnership with the National University of Samoa through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will see the Ministry providing sponsorship opportunities for students of the “Samoa Certificate II in Sustainable Energy programme.
In her keynote address Ms Frances Brown-Reupena Chief Executive Officer of MNRE said the MoU with NUS provides a platform for targeted higher learning on mitigation strategies that are viable for Samoa.
“Students will learn of energy systems and services, and energy solutions for residential, commercial, and industrial premises,” she said.
The initiative that will provide tuition fees for close to 20 students, comes under the IMPRESS project – “Improving the Performance and Reliability of Renewable Energy Power Systems in Samoa”. It is project aimed at supporting national efforts towards achieving 100% renewable energy electricity generation by 2025, while also contributing to improved energy for everyday Samoans.
As explained by IMPRESS coordinator Ms Toiata Uili, the Project had initially planned to conduct a Training of Trainers (TOT) for Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency and Demand Side Management; however, the certificate course for students was catalyzed by the work that SQA had already completed in this area.
“The Ministry has acknowledged the learning outcomes developed by the Samoa Qualifications Authority through its National Competency Standards on Sustainable Energy. The developed program aligns well to address the target needs in our country. Renewable Energy technologies are advancing, and so shall our capacity, said Samoa’s IMPRESS Coordinator.”
Ms Lineta Tamanikaiyaroi, Dean of the Faculty of Technical Education at NUS (FOTE), said the MoU signed last Friday is evidence of the National University’s commitment to support the Government of Samoa’s efforts to provide high level education on sustainable energy for its citizens.
“NUS is supporting Samoa’s efforts on the global fight in reducing carbon emissions that affects the ozone layer and results in increasing temperatures, which has a significant negative impact on Small Islands of the Pacific including Samoa.”
Climate change is one of the greatest setbacks to Samoa’s development, and to withstand these impacts, there is a particular focus on climate proofing our livelihoods, lifestyle, and infrastructure.
It is a must to immediately address these issues especially as a small Island Developing State (SIDS) that is already vulnerable to the impacts of an ever changing climate.
Samoa and other SIDS countries have come together to collaboratively raise immediate concerns for the vulnerability of our Pacific people. Government officials, Non-government organisations and other climate change practitioners have been at the forefront advocating and implementing climate actions.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr Sailele Malielegaoi has persistently made known that Climate Change is a national priority, and this has underpinned what Samoa has done and continues to do in response to the serious impacts of climate change.
Samoa’s Contribution to Mitigating Climate Change impacts
Some of Samoa’s efforts are being demonstrated through National Determined Contributions (NDC’s) targets, one of which is “Generating 100% electricity from renewable energy sources by 2025”.
Currently Samoa generates 50% of electricity from renewable energy sources such as Hydro energy, Solar energy, Wind energy and the newly launched Biomass Gasification Plant at Mulifanua.
Samoa’s MNRE CEO says more needs to be done in sustaining our development, and to do so, we must invest in educating and training of citizens on mitigation actions and strategies that can combat the rising issues of climate change.
“Formalising this partnership with NUS through the IMPRESS project ensures these initiatives are carried out”.
Ms Frances thanked the NUS Vice Chancellor & President – Aiono Dr Alec Ekeroma, for accepting the Ministry’s request to deliver the essential programs
She also acknowledged the recipients for taking interest in pursuing an education in the programme with the hopes of expanding their knowledge on developing sustainable solutions to address climate issues.
The scholarship recipients are enrolled under the Faculty of Technical Education (FOTE); set to commence their studies on Monday 1st March 2021.
The Ministry acknowledges its partners and stakeholders who are driving for sustainable energy and energy efficiency developments – Electric Power Corporation (EPC), Ministry of Cu`q1stoms and Revenue (MCR), Ministry of Finance (MOF), Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture (MESC), Samoa Trust Estate Corporation (STEC), Scientific Research Of Samoa (SROS), Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC), University of the South Pacific (USP) and the National University of Samoa (NUS).
The Ministry also acknowledges its Donor partners – Global Environment Facility (GEF) and United Nations Development Program (UNDP) for supporting these initiatives.