New Zealand Minister Opens Pacific Climate Change Centre in Samoa

NZ Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito Su'a William Sio. PC: WT Media

Thursday 5 September 2019 Apia Samoa. Updated 7 September 2019. New Zealand Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito Tofoe Su’a William Sio today spoke at the opening of the new Pacific Climate Change Centre

“In September last year, Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters announced New Zealand’s commitment to cooperating with Japan, Samoa and SPREP to help set up the Pacific Climate Change Centre on SPREP’s Apia campus,” Aupito William Sio said.

Aupito said New Zealand has made a NZD$3.5 million contibution to the centre that would be a regional hub of excellence for the coordination of climate change initiatives.

Samoa’s press secretariat confirms that the construction of the Centre is funded by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), through grant funding to the Government of Samoa with total cost of construction around USD $8 million dollars.

The New Zealand Minister of Pacifc Peoples says this highlights the New Zealand Government delivering on its plan to move from a donor-recipient relationship towards genuine partnerships with Pacific countries.

The New Zealand Labour Government had earlier this year announced that $150m of its $300 million global commitment to climate-related development assistance would go to the Pacific region.

The Labor Party list MP from South Auckland’s Mangere electorate will also represent New Zealand at the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) Environment Ministers’ High Level Talanoa to be held tomorrow.

“The Talanoa will now provide an important opportunity to progress the conversation to ensure the strongest possible action is taken in relation to climate resilience and critical environment issues across the Pacific,” Aupito William Sio said.

A report published by SPREP states that, “The PCCC is a partnership between the Government of Japan and the Government of Samoa, and is hosted by SPREP. As the regional Centre of Excellence, it will be a hub for climate change information, research, and innovation. The PCCC will provide practical tools, knowledge, support and training to address the adaptation and mitigation priorities of Pacific island people”.

The Communications Support Officer for SPREP Leanne Moananu says the Centre cost just below USD 8 million and was funded by the Government of Japan through grant aid to the Government of Samoa.

“New Zealand is providing additional funding support of USD 2.3 million for the resourcing and operationalising of the Centre”.