HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 574:27 July 2011

Cook Islands hosts regional ‘writeshop’

The visionary electricity targets for the Cook Islands of 50% renewable energy by 2015 and 100% by 2020 makes the island nation an ideal host for a project proposal ‘writeshop’ this week.
Participants from 13 Pacific island countries have gathered together to develop draft project proposals that will access funds for national renewable energy and saltwater desalination projects.
The scene for a productive week was set by the Cook Islands Prime Minister, Henry Puna, when he encouraged participants to “unite and be bold and take our message to the world, you will be surprised how many people in the world are willing to help us.”
Support has come in several forms during this week.
The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat have pooled resources to coordinate the workshop focusing on the Pacific Environment Community (PEC) Fund and the Pacific Islands Greenhouse Gas Abatement through Renewable Energy Project (PIGGAREP).
The PEC Fund, administered by the Forum Secretariat, is a commitment by the Government of Japan of ¥6.8 billion (approx US$66 million) to support FIC projects with a focus on the provision of solar power generation systems and sea water desalination plants, or a combination of both.
PIGGAREP, administered by SPREP is aimed at reducing the growth rate of greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel use in the Pacific through the removal of the barriers to effective use of renewable energy technologies.
“It dawned on me when I started pushing for renewable energy in the Cook Islands that we have capacity issues particularly in writing project documents,” said the Prime Minister Henry Puna.
“I am pleased that in the meantime our friends from our regional and international organisations have stepped in and pledged their continuing commitment to help us. The truth is we cannot stand still, we cannot wait two, three or five years for our own people to build capacity to do these things, we need to move now and learn as we grow.”
It is anticipated that by the end of the workshop this week participants would have completed a number of draft project proposals.

Herald Issue 554 09 March
- Norm exposes Trio of Doom
- Briefs from PM’s media conference Tuesday
- Tourism Industry ponders $5 million draft strategy
- Norman George resigns from Cook Islands Party
- Letter of Resignation from CIP
- Norman selfish says Prime Minister

Copyright 2006 Cook Islands Herald online . All rights reserved.