Remarks by Antone Greubel, U.S. Embassy Samoa Chargé d’Affaires, SUNGO Launch of Climate Change Resilience Training Handbook

Thursday, September 6, 2018

[As Prepared]

[Greetings]

I am pleased to be here today to celebrate our partnership with the Samoa Umbrella for Non-governmental Organisations, or SUNGO, and launch the “Climate Change Adaptation Project Design and Management“ handbook that is a product of our partnership in support of our shared goal of building resilient communities in the region.

The American people value their close friendship with the people of the Pacific region, a friendship that is based on trust and mutual interests. This initiative builds upon our strong ties as we advance toward a stable and prosperous future for the people of Samoa.

As we know, Samoa is vulnerable to unprecedented extreme drought, prolonged heavy rainfall, as well as extreme events like cyclones and tropical storms that are becoming more frequent, causing fatalities and unprecedented damage to community infrastructure and livelihoods that people depend on.

Through the United States Agency for International Development, or USAID, the U.S. government is pleased to collaborate with SUNGO in supporting communities across the islands of Apia and Savaii to design and implement projects that will make them more resilient to disasters when they occur. Our partnership complements the Government of Samoa’s nationwide climate adaptation projects, which also enhance the resilience of coastal resources and communities.

Together, through the project, we have trained almost 500 members of community-based organizations using a module that SUNGO developed for Samoa. Today, we are publishing this training module as an easy-to-use reference so it can benefit more Samoan communities.

As a result of the course, participants are now able to assess the climate risks and options for managing forests and coastal resources, protecting biodiversity, and improving food and water security. Those who complete training now better understand measures that can ensure community members’ safety immediately following disasters. Lastly, trainers delivered personalized mentoring support to assist participants in developing resilience plans for their communities that are aligned with national plans and strategies.

Another important feature of the course was that participants gained skills and knowledge to develop project proposals for donor agencies, boosting their capacity to access funding for resilience projects in their communities.

I am happy to note that participants of the training have helped start up and implement 17 projects for their communities.

Our partnership with SUNGO is just one of the 28 locally driven initiatives that USAID, through the Pacific-American Climate Fund, has supported across the Pacific region to build up the communities’ resilience. Many of these initiatives focus on improving livelihoods through forestry, aqua farming, and agriculture as well as natural resource management. A common denominator of the projects that we support is that they promote win-win solutions for both livelihoods and the environment.

I am very pleased with the partnership forged with SUNGO through this project. The U.S. government remains committed to working with governments, civil society organizations, and communities in the Pacific in the journey to self-reliance and a prosperous future, especially for the most vulnerable among us.

Fa'afetai. Thank you very much.

Vaitele, Samoa
Issuing Country 

Last updated: September 18, 2018

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