Disaster risk management and climate change training for SPC staff

Report
from Secretariat of the Pacific Community
Published on 16 Sep 2013 View Original

Fifty-nine staff members of the Secretariat of the Pacific (SPC) staff have completed disaster risk management (DRM) and climate change training in recent months.

Half-day training sessions were held in Suva (Fiji), Honiara (Solomon Islands), Pohnpei (Federated States of Micronesia) and Noumea (New Caledonia), designed to build staff capacity in areas related to climate change and disaster risk management. It is part of a programme of action to mainstream these issues across all of the divisions of SPC.

Because of their impact on social, economic, market and industry sectors, DRM and climate change are considered ‘cross-cutting’ issues, and SPC is integrating such issues into its programmatic approach to development. This process is referred to as mainstreaming.

SPC is the Pacific region’s principal technical and scientific organisation. Its divisions are involved in research and project implementation in the areas of applied geoscience and technology; public health; fisheries, aquaculture and marine environment; economic development (transport and energy); statistics for development; land resources (agriculture, forestry, land use, animal health, etc.); and education, training and human development.

The training for SPC staff is designed to enable them to better understand DRM and climate change and to factor this professional awareness into personal roles and functions. The training is also designed to enable SPC staff to further contribute to the organisational goal of serving Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs) by assisting them to mainstream DRM and climate change into national and regional planning processes.

DRM and climate change are increasingly being considered by PICTs on a holistic basis in development planning processes. This is further reflected in the regional ‘roadmap’ process endorsed by Pacific Leaders, which is designed to bring together DRM and climate change planning processes by 2015 to achieve more resilient development.

The course for staff was developed and facilitated by Brian Dawson, SPC’s principal adviser on climate change, and Kirstie Méheux, who is a senior adviser on DRM training and capacity building. Both are experts in their fields. The training used a mixture of lectures, small group work, and activities to convey concepts and support learning.

The mainstreaming of climate change and disaster risk management across the organisation is supported by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID).

For more information contact: Kirstie Méheux, Senior Advisor Disaster Risk Management Training and Capacity Building, kirstiem@spc.int, +679 338 1377 (ext 36310)