HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 608: 21 March 2012

Parties updated on Climate Change issues
On the morning of Thursday 31 July at the National Council of Women headquarters in Takuvaine, some 30 interested parties attended the quarterly meeting of the Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management Group.
A range of issues were discussed including; funding for climate related marine research, the appointment on 24 August of Willie Tuivaga of Emergency Management Cook Islands as National Programme Manager for SRIC and the addition of the Ui Ariki to the Implementation Partners Arrangements for the Pa Enua (suggested by Travel Tou Ariki).
Vulnerability and Adaptation (V & A) studies:
The meeting was advised that when the Vulnerability and Adaptation (V & A) studies of several outer islands are completed by the National Environment Service and the Red Cross, the information will contribute towards the development of the National Climate Change Policy. Atiu’s V & A was completed in May 2012 and the other islands yet to be completed are Manihiki, Rakahanga, Palmerston and Penrhyn. These islands were chosen as their V&A’s are either out of date, being last completed in the 1990’s and the islands having changed significantly justifying the need for another or because the islands have never had a V&A assessment carried out. The V&A for Manihiki and Rakahanga is due to start on September 11 and will take two weeks to complete. The Asia Development Bank (ADB) website is currently advertising for a report writer for the V&A assessments. The vacancy closes on the 4th August. The issue of collaboration, coordination, information sharing and transport cost sharing with other studies to the outer islands to reduce costs and prevent unnecessary information gathering and cross over was raised. It was agreed that these issues can be improved on. It was suggested that a step by step guide to registering with the ADB website be developed and sent out to those who may request it.
Update on UNFCCC priorities:
The meeting was also updated on the Cook Islands priorities for the UN Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meeting to be held in Bonn, Germany. The Green Environment Fund (GEF) is not yet in operation. The Board meeting due to take place in May regarding the GEF was postponed. The rescheduled date is to be in August but Sandra Tisam advised she is unsure if this will happen. The Ad hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) started with a cause for concern for the Cook Islands delegation. However, things were ironed out and it was decided that India would be the Chair for the ADP for the first six months followed by GRULAC (Group of Latin American and Caribbean Countries). The Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA) (bunkers/sectoral approach) is not moving anywhere much within the negotiations with nothing to report. Ulamilla Wragg followed Capacity Building (CB) at the UNFCCC. She reported that CB aids in the delivery of work in climate change activities encouraging a bottom up approach and ensuring knowledge transfer and collaborations. Wragg also followed Article 6 of the Convention which is closely tied to CB with its focus on information sharing and raising awareness which should be funded/supported to implement Article 6 within the Cook Islands. The next Conference of the Parties (COP) will be held in Doha. Tisam suggested there is a need to prioritize what the Cook Islands delegation will follow prior to departure for the upcoming informal UNFCCC climate negotiations. Nga Puna and Mii Matamaki will be attending the UNFCCC informal negotiations in Bangkok.
The meeting was advised that the Secretariat will organise a meeting prior to the UNFCCC Informal with the delegation and Foreign Affairs to plan the Cook Islands position.
Update on Disaster Risk management:
In updating the meeting on Disaster Risk Management, Charles Carlson of Emergency management Cook Islands, spoke about the Joint National Action Plan (JNAP) committee. He welcomed and invited those who are willing to participate and have input into the JNAP activities, to personally forward their own nominations to him if they wished to be considered being added to the JNAP committee. However, it was made clear that people on the committee are there to be actively involved. Carlson spoke of the Hyogo Framework of Action funding of EU$600,000 for the development of a Climate change adaptation and Disaster risk management policy. On the 9th and the 16th August between 9am-12pm all stakeholders and agencies who will be involved in any implementation of a DRR and CCA projects will be invited to attend a meeting. More information of this will follow.
Community Engagement Workshop on Climate Change:
Seven Cook Islanders will be attending the Community Engagement Workshop on Climate Change- Polynesian Region, in Nuku’alofa, Tonga from 6th to 17th August, 2012. They are; Tou Ariki, David Ngatae, Neti Tarau, Taunga Tuteru, John Nimeti, Ms Nga Taio, Narii Tauu. The Learning Intensive Workshop will be conducted by Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development as part of the AusAID funded Future Climate Leaders Project and aims to interact and share information with Polynesian communities on understanding, reducing (mitigating) and adapting to climate change. It is expected that on the candidates return they will be able to be utilised in the V&A assessment exercises planned to be conducted in September in Manihiki and Rakahanga, and later to be mobilised alongside Rarotonga based V&A expertise for Penrhyn and Palmerston; the two remaining islands to have V&A’s conducted.
Other matters:
In relation to other matters, Shona Pitt advised the meeting she will be attending a disaster risk management meeting. She spoke about media and the importance of the media.
Ulamilla Wragg spoke of a media training programme that is soon to take place. Participatory Media Project with Communities, which is a Communication for Development Project funded by Australia’s Pacific Media Assistance Scheme (PACMAS).
Teava Iro spoke on behalf of the Titikaveka Growers Association, their work and potential work with Ministries in particular agricultural related education at schools. -Charles Pitt

Herald Issue 608 21 March
- Terms of one China Policy document should be reviewed
- Pacific Media Assistance Scheme Seeks Innovation
- Successful NZ visit by PM
- Rerekura Teaurere New Climate Change Coordinator
- News Briefs

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