Category Archives: Adaptation

Former Kiribati president and member of the Eminent Persons group which framed the original political vision for the Pacific Plan, the Hon Teburoro Tito MP, chats with the Review team’s Peter Bazeley about the significance of the Biketawa Declaration.

Kiribati seeks more from regionalism

Former Kiribati president and member of the Eminent Persons group which framed the original political vision for the Pacific Plan, the Hon Teburoro Tito MP, chats with the Review team’s Peter Bazeley about the significance of the Biketawa Declaration.

Former Kiribati president and member of the Eminent Persons group which framed the original political vision for the Pacific Plan, the Hon Teburoro Tito MP, chats with the Review team’s Peter Bazeley about the significance of the Biketawa Declaration.

The Pacific Plan Review consulted Kiribati stakeholders in in early May, 2013, meeting politicians, senior government officials, the Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the Kiribati Association of NGOs, as well as the country’s bilateral and multilateral development partners. The team was also privileged to meet Kiribati’s first president and former PIFS Secretary General, the Hon Sir Ieremia Tabai.

Once again the often parlous situation in which the smaller island states find themselves was emphasised, as was the disproportionate difficulty that the small central Pacific islands – in particular – have in connecting with the region and economic opportunity. “Can we not aspire at least to be equal members of the Pacific community?”, a senior diplomat questioned.

Kiribati has always played an active role in promoting regionalism, as it did in shaping the original vision of what turned into the Pacific Plan –including the concept of perhaps eventually sharing sovereignty on some key areas.

While in Kiribati, the Review was reminded of the significance of the Biketawa Declaration signed by Forum leaders under Kiribati’s chairmanship in 2000. This Declaration committed members to a set of regional values on rights and good governance and institutionalised, for the first time, the principles of collective action across the Forum to address regional crises and other critical issues.

However Kiribati stakeholders questioned how well served they and other smaller island states are, now, by the Pacific Plan and the institutions that surround it.

HE Anote Tong at the Pacific Energy Summit 2013 in Auckland, New Zealand.

Kiribati applies to join G77

Kiribati President His Excellency Anote Tong announced his Government’s intent to apply for membership of the G77.

At the second day of the G77 high level meeting in Fiji earlier this week, His Excellency announced a forthcoming application and told the summit he believed G77 could assist Kiribati in campaigning for help to deal with rising sea levels and climate change..

“I think it would lend greater force to the advocacy that we have been campaigning on,” His Excellency said.

The G77 is the United Nations’ grouping for poor and developing countries.

Find out more about G77

The Children Take Action - a Climate Change Story

The Children Take Action: book

A new book The Children Take Action – a Climate Change Story will be distributed to every primary school in Kiribati in order to improve literacy skills and help children learn the basics of climate change and its impacts on our environment.

The book, which is available in English and te-Kiribati, is as an ideal resource to accompany the new syllabus and teacher guides currently being developed for Kiribati primary schools, according to the Curriculum Development and Resource Centre (CDRC).

The new syllabus integrates key elements of climate change using education for sustainable development principles to work towards the nation’s vision to “nurture our children and young people to become wise and worthwhile citizens able to adapt to, and participate in, their changing world”.

To date, 6,000 copies of the book have been given to the CDRC to distribute to primary schools.

The Children Take Action - a Climate Change Story

The Children Take Action – a Climate Change Story

A sample of the book reads:

Jone didn’t know what climate change was and asked his grandfather to explain. Grandpa told Jone that the Earth’s temperature is becoming hotter. “My temperature gets hot when I am unwell,” said Jone. “Yes!” said Grandpa. “The Earth is becoming unwell too. There is less food for the birds and the fish. That is why they are leaving our island.” “What is making the Earth sick?” Jone asked. “We are,” said Grandpa. “Gases from our cars, buses and factories are making the Earth too hot.” “People are driving more cars and building more factories. So the Earth is getting hotter and hotter.” “Just like putting too many blankets on me!” said Jone.

The story was developed by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and 1500 copies were printed with funding from the Australian International Climate Change Adaptation Initiative. The book has since been translated into te-Kiribati and 6360 copies printed by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC)/Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Coping with Climate Change in the Pacific Island Region Programme.

The overall curriculum review is being supported under the Kiribati Education Improvement Programme (KEIP) of the Ministry of Education (supported by AusAID, UNESCO, UNICEF and NZAid)

 

His Excellency President Anote Tong

Climate change a ‘whole nation approach’

During a recent visit to Australia, President Tong spoke with Nic Maclellan from Islands Business about global warming, climate migration, the Pacific Islands Forum and Kiribati’s role in regional fisheries negotiations. 

In 2010, Kiribati hosted an international conference in Tarawa to focus attention on climate impacts in the Pacific. Since then, do you think progress on a global climate treaty has stalled?

Our experience has not been entirely optimistic. After the Copenhagen meeting, there was a lot of disappointment. Much of our disappointment was based on our high expectations of what the outcomes might be. Like any major international treaty, it doesn’t happen overnight, or even after a couple of years or even ten years. I think we have major treaties in place which took decades to conclude. With the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, I don’t think we’ll conclude until we change our approach. It’s always been my contention that we’re dealing with too much detail in a document that’s highly controversial because the issues are very critical to different countries at different levels of development. My view has been to agree on a broad document and then deal with issues on a piecemeal basis. Unless we do that, our hopes for success are very dim. Quite frankly, I’m beginning to think that perhaps we should not put everything in those discussions. Perhaps, we should now begin to explore existing arrangements and simply add provisions into those agreements relating to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.

Does this mean that negotiations should move from the UNFCCC to another body like the Major Economies Forum or G20 where the members are the major emitters of greenhouse gasses? Will this leave the Alliance of Small Islands States out of the dialogue?

I think the key to all of this is our genuine desire to resolve this. If there is a genuine desire, then we will find a way. Compromise is always possible but there has got to be a genuine desire to compromise. Without this, whatever forum we adopt, it will not work. Whatever agreement the developed countries come to, AOSIS and the other developing countries will find fault with it.

It’s a matter of finding commonalities rather than arguing over controversial issues at this time. We need to build up confidence in the way we want to head, and if we do that, then perhaps the possibilities of reaching consensus might be there.

Read the full story at www.islandsbusiness.com

His Excellency Anote Tong takes the stage in front before the other panelists, and the nation.

Wet weather fails to dampen public hearing spirits

Morning rain did not dampen the mood at Kiribati’s first-ever National High-Level Public Hearing on Climate Change on Friday, where leaders addressed the nation on the importance of everyone working together to build national resilience against climate change impacts.

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Official page of the National High-Level Public Hearing on Climate Change

Thankfully, despite the heavy rain overnight, the skies opened up to permit a late start to the event at Bairiki Square, which coincidentally or not translates from i-Kiribati to English as the “place where things happen”.

President Anote Tong addressed the nation at the National High-Level Public Hearing on Climate Change at Bairiki Square.

President Anote Tong addressed the nation at the National High-Level Public Hearing on Climate Change at Bairiki Square on Friday 19 April, 2013.

His Excellency Anote Tong was the first of 10 panelists to take the stage to address the crowded public square where he reiterated the importance of building both consensus and public understanding of climate change and climate change impacts in Kiribati.

“We must prepare the next generation to address the effects of climate change,” His Excellency said*.

These words were more dramatically reiterated in a moving youth performance by Kiribati Health and Family Association (KHFA) at half-time, where, in the skit, a young girl in tears asks her dad “Dad, what will happen to me and my Kiribati in 50 years time?*”

Next, second panel member Kiribati National Council of Churches Chairman Bishop Paul Mea took the stage.

Bishop Mea told the public, both in attendance and aired live across the country, that climate change was a social issue.

His Excellency Anote Tong takes the stage in front before the other panelists, and the nation.

His Excellency Anote Tong takes the stage in front of other panelists and before the nation.

Human interference continued to contribute to the impacts of climate change, Bishop Mea continued, citing Tarawa causeways Nanikai and Teaoraereke as well as the Dai Nippon contributing to the loss of some of the nation’s islets.

Leader of the Opposition Party (Karikirakean te I-Kiribati Party) Dr Tetaua Taitai next acknowledged climate change as a serious issue, but one that should not be the main priority for Kiribati. Instead the more immediate issues of population growth, overcrowding, water and food security, unemployment, education and health should be first addressed, he said.

He added, where climate change was a focus, more attention was needed to how the nation utilised its own resources with that of external resources and that it was necessary for experts to have a sole focus in the context of Kiribati instead of generalising the nation with the rest of the world.

The public raised questions to the panel in person and via telephone and Facebook throughout the day.

*Please note: quotes have been translated from i-Kiribati to English

For more information, please visit:

Sunset in Tarawa.

Government and SPC talk joint strategies

The Government of Kiribati and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) have been working hard to develop a new joint country strategy (JCS) between SPC and the Government of Kiribati.

JCSs are multi-year plans that align the priorities of SPC member countries with the services that SPC can provide. The new plan will focus on a strategy for 2013 to 2015.

Discussions on the strategy, which took place early April 2013 on Tarawa, involved identifying the country’s key development priorities and matching these with the expertise SPC can provide in sectors ranging from fisheries to statistics.

The mission follows a review of the first JCS (2008–2011) carried out in October 2012, which found that SPC in close collaboration with the Government of Kiribati had effectively implemented activities and services in line with Kiribati’s development priorities.

David Teaabo, Pacific Plan Desk Officer with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration, commented that the JCS approach is very much a joint approach and relies on full engagement by the government.

According to Mr Teaabo, the collaborative approach promoted by the JCS makes it possible to improve coordination and collaboration efforts at national level to enable Kiribati to pursue its development priorities.

The mission team was led by Mike Batty, (Director of SPC’s Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems Division) and included representatives of SPC’s Strategic Engagement, Policy and Planning Facility as well as its Statistics for Development Division. The SPC team’s Kiribati counterparts included Mr Teaabo as well as representatives of the National Economic Planning Office.

Mr Batty said that cooperation between the government and SPC had been excellent, which was a testimony to the commitment by both parties to ensuring that Kiribati’s development priorities are translated into concrete actions.

Climate Change Public Hearing Banner web

Climate Change Public Hearing panelists revealed

The National High-Level Public Hearing on Climate Change is on Friday 19 April, 2013 from 9.30am at Bairiki Square.

His Excellency President Anote Tong will lead an elite list of panel members who will address the public in the highly anticipated first-ever National High-level Public Hearing on Climate Change this Friday.

Initiated by the Parliament Select Committee on Climate Change (PSCCC), the public hearing will see panel members address the nation on the issue of climate change as well as respond to questions from the public.

Facilitated by Dr Bwaranite Kirata, the 12-strong panel will include Kiribati National Council of Churches Chairman Bishop Paul Mea, Boutokaan te Koaua Party representative Martin Tofinga, Karikirakean te I – Kiribati Party Chairman Tetabo Nakara, Maurin Kiribati Party Chairman Rutiano Benetito and Kiribati Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI) President Tekeeua Tarati. A full list of panel members is provided below.

Vice Chairman of the Select Committee on Climate Change and Nikunau MP Rimeta Beniamina said the Committee hoped the public hearing would enhance the understanding of the general public about the issue of climate change and their responsibilities as citizens to complement the Government’s efforts to implement adaptation programs as well as encourage national leaders to jointly work together to prepare people for climate change adaptation.

“The overarching aim in conducting a public hearing as such is to keep citizens informed and to consolidate a national shared hope and vision for a better future of the people of Kiribati while adapting to the impacts of climate change,” he said. Adding, the theme for the event would be “Let’s work together to build national resilience against Climate Change impacts”.

The public hearing is on Friday, 19 April 2013 at the Bairiki Square starting from 9.30 am and will be broadcast live across Kiribati on BPA National Radio.

The general public is invited to participate in this national event. For those who can’t attend, voice your questions on our Facebook page and a select number will be submitted to the panel on the day.

National High-level Public Hearing on Climate Change panelists:

1. HE President Anote Tong, Head of State

2. Bishop Paul Mea, Chairman of Kiribati National Council of Churches (KNCC)

3. Mr Rimeta Beniamina, Vice Chairman of Parliament Select Committee on Climate Change (PSCCC)

4. Mr Martin Tofinga, representative from Boutokaan te Koaua Party and MP from Betio

5. Mr Tetabo Nakara, Chairman of Karikirakean te I-Kiribati Party and MP from Beru

6. Mr Rutiano Benetito, Chairman of Maurin Kiribati Party and MP from Marakei

7. Mr Nakibae Teuatabu, local expert on climate change

8. Mrs Moia Tetoa, President of Aia Mwaea Ainen Kiribati (AMAK, Kiribati National Women’s Federation)

9. Mr Tekeeua Tarati, President of Kiribati Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI)

10. Ms Floreen Tikau, youth representative

11. Mr Tekamangu Bwauiira, disabled community representative

12. Mr Ueanteiti, representative from the most affected community
(Tebunginako)

Dr Bwaranite Kirata will act as Facilitator/Moderator of Discussions

Government of Kiribati Foreign Affairs and Immigration Secretary Tessie Eria Lambourne on the World Bank PRAXIS panel discussion.

How avoid a 4 degree warmer world: panel

Government of Kiribati Foreign Affairs and Immigration Secretary Tessie Eria Lambourne has represented Kiribati on a panel to discuss avoiding a 4 degree warmer world in Sydney (full video below).

The discussion was part of the World Bank’s PRAXIS series, which according to the World Bank website aims to “create discussion and debate on some of the most pertinent issues relating to international development in the Pacific Islands”.

In the discussion, Lambourne highlighted the plight of Kiribati and small island developing states  to focus on climate change now, not later.

“There is still some who believe it [climate change] is a distant threat, but for us it is a present threat. It’s happening now and our people are being affected now and it’s not something that can wait,” she told the panel.

“This is something the small island developing states have tried and will continue trying to get the world to understand and get the world to do something about it.

“we need the support of the international community to save the lives and the future of the people on these islands in Kiribati and in other small island developing states in the Pacific and around the world.”

Other panel members were Rachel Kyte, World Bank Vice President for Sustainable Development and Kevin Hennessy, Principal Research Scientist at CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research.

The discussion was aired live on Australian television and available online.

Watch the video to find out more or visit the World Bank’s PRAXIS page

The signing of the Kiribati Road Rehabilitation Project contract between Ministry of Public Works and Utilities secretary Eita Metai and McConnell Dowell construction manager Rory Bishop. Photo: KAPIII

No potholes in road contract signing

South Tarawa’s long-awaited new road is one step closer after the Government of Kiribati and New Zealand-based construction company McConnell Dowell signed the official contract recently.

Ministry of Public Works and Utilities secretary Eita Metai and McConnell Dowell construction manager Rory Bishop signed the Kiribati Road Rehabilitation Project contract in front of a small gathering in Betio, Kiribati on on Wednesday 27 April, 2013.

The signing of the Kiribati Road Rehabilitation Project contract between Ministry of Public Works and Utilities secretary Eita Metai and McConnell Dowell construction manager Rory Bishop. Photo: KAPIII

The signing of the Kiribati Road Rehabilitation Project contract between Ministry of Public Works and Utilities secretary Eita Metai and McConnell Dowell construction manager Rory Bishop. Photo: KAPIII

Guests were entertained by local dancers and served dinner as part of the signing celebrations.

The Road Rehabilition Project for Kiribati is a $AU38 million project that aims to improve the condition of South Tarawa and Betio’s main road network as well as help strengthen road finance and maintenance capacity.

Roads Project Contract Signing

Local dancers entertain guests after the official signing of the roads project contract. Photo: KAPIII

The three main components of the project are:

1. Infrastructure improvements: main civil works activities to be undertaken on South Tarawa road infrastructure, including the reconstruction and rehabilitation of paved roads on South Tarawa and the rehabilitation of Betio causeway

2. Road sector reform: keep activities to strengthen the road section and lead to more sustainable road infrastructure in South Tarawa

3. Project support: establishing of a project management unit, project associated incremental operation costs, a valuation specialists to identify the appropriate compensation rates for trees and other assets affected by the project, and audit of the project accounts

The Kiribati Road Rehabilitation Project is being implements by the Government of Kiribati with the assistance and funding support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), World Bank (WB) and AusAID.

Construction work is expected to begin mid-2013.

Related news…

Australia to give $15 million for road

For more information on the project, please visit the ADBWB and AusAID website pages dedicated to the project.

World Water Day 2013

Leaked: World Water Day fun

World Water Day 2013 was a hit thanks to all of the people who poured into Bairiki Square on Monday to partake in the celebrations.

World Water Day 2013

A stall at World Water Day 2013.

The Ministry of Public Works and Utilities (MPWU) together with Environment and Conservation Division (ECD), Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS), Public Utilities Board and the country’s leading water and sanitation projects banded together to provide a day full of entertainment and information stalls with interactive displays.

The projects will provide demonstrations (such as how to fix a leaking tap), a ‘water-theme’ quiz with prizes, kid’s games (have you heard of ‘eels and ladders’?) and general information about their projects at the event. Taken Bairiki and Rurubao schools will also wow crowds with local performances about water.

 

An engineer from Kiribati Adaptation Program - Phase III explains how to fix a leaking tap.

An engineer from Kiribati Adaptation Program – Phase III explains how to fix a leaking tap.

World Water Day is a United Nations initiative held annually around the world to highlight the importance of freshwater and advocate for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.

This year’s theme was ‘Water Cooperation’ with the aim of recognising the need for cooperation to manage groundwater and rainwater resources, information exchange and financial and technical cooperation in Kiribati.

STSISP keeps learning fun at World Water Day 2013.

In the spirit of water cooperation, the South Tarawa Sanitation Improvement Sector Project (STSISP), Kiribati Adaptation Program – Phase III (KAPIII) and Water and Sanitation project in the Outer Islands of the Republic of Kiribati Phase I (KIRIWATSAN I) sponsored the event.

See more pictures of World Water Day on our Facebook page

Related: Celebrate World Water Day with a splash