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  • cida grande,sans-serif;">With plans to develop a structured, needs-driven and vibrant field of volunteerism for an environmentally sustainable future in the Pacific, Ulla Gronlund from United Nations Volunteers sought members’ feedback on capturing data, measuring contribution, key issues and challenges of volunteerism in the Pacific. 

    cida grande,sans-serif;">A member started the discussion disagreeing on the statement that the region lacks structured volunteerprogrammes.

    He argued, there have been numerous amounts of campaigns and activities around climate change and disaster programmes within each of the countries successfully engaging volunteers of all ages and these volunteer activities are structured in various ways that suit the dynamics of the volunteers.

    A structure that may work for one or ganisation may not necessarily work for another and each organisation and network has adopted different standards that work for them and this should not be seen as an overall lack of structure in volunteer programs.  
     

  • style="font-size:16px;">This Query sought member feedback on how Information Communication Technology (ICTs) and social media may be used in the Pacific to promote, monitor and report the effectiveness of climate change programs.

    style="font-size:16px;">While the Query had a focus on Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) the majority of examples provided by respondents related to ''operational'' uses to implement programs, and how social media is primarily used for ''promotional'' and knowledge-sharing uses.

    style="font-size:16px;">The significant potential to expand operational and promotional uses, and further extend into M&E and more two-way and interactive communications were discussed.  
     

  • style="font-size:16px;">Games are a great way to create a fun environment conducive to learning for any age group and a way for participants to develop their understanding of some complex ideas and challenges that arise when working in climate change.

    style="font-size:16px;">Playing an appropriate game and facilitating a specific debrief discussion afterwards is a great way to impart knowledge and information and develop a deeper understanding of the issues.  
     

     

  • style="font-size:16px;">Participatory media is where the audience can play an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing and disseminating content.

    style="font-size:16px;">Many in the Pacific find this form of media more effective in creating awareness and finding solutions to environmental challenges as compared to the traditional forms of media. 

  • Given that deep sea mining operations might be happening soon within sovereig

    n Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ), the query sought members feedback on what would some transboundary environmental impacts of this venture be.  
     
    According to the responses received, no deep sea mining has taken place in Pacific waters and technology to extract minerals commercially remains under development.

    This environment has hardly been studied making it difficult to predict the impacts without knowing the specific technicalities of the proposed operations and details of a specific site.  
     

  • style="font-size:16px;">The query on the challenges and opportunities of traditional knowledge was posed by Johanna Nalau from Griffith University and Makelesi Gonelevu from the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme.

    style="font-size:16px;">It engaged members to comment on the difference between traditional knowledge and local knowledge, how best to maintain and share traditional knowledge and to what extent it can be shared.
     

  • The query poser requested contacts of people who can feature in a television

    news segment focusing on climate change impacts in Tuvalu and Fiji.

    Ricardo Morris from Republika Media Limited has plans to televise stories of successful village relocations, areas where climate change impacts are noticeable and how communities particularly the women and children are building their resilience to these impacts.

  • The query seeking lessons learnt on ways of keeping DRR initiatives alive aft

    er project closure drew several responses.

    Members felt this was an important query that all development practitioners including the DM professionals face.

    Substantial efforts and investment goes into implementation of activities that could support risk reduction.

    Respondents felt that sustainability is all about attitude and behavioural change and agreed upon the necessity of ensuring long term engagement for sustainability.

    The basis of sustainability is first and foremost the changed mindset, supported by knowledge and practice which becomes a habit with the passage of time.  Institutions (governmental and non-governmental), within and around the community, need to be involved to support and supplement the efforts of the community.

    Systems and structures for coordination should be created to sustain the process, together with the Panchayat and the governmental institutions.
     

  • style="font-size:16px;">Although a crucial issue, the discussion on strengthening national environmental governance frameworks did not generate many responses but those that did respond, highlighted a few key points.

    style="font-size:16px;">The discussion was posed by Meapelo Maiai from the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme based in Samoa seeking members’ response on how organisations and individuals contribute to the strengthening of environmental governance in the Pacific or other regions.  

  • style="font-size:16px;">Engaging effectively in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of Parties and other international negotiations is something the Pacific Island Countries and Territories do struggle with but are vital as it is where small island states can have as much as a voice as the bigger states.

    style="font-size:16px;">The query by Albert Williams from Vanuatu allowed members to share the major setbacks and solutions to efficiently and effectively engage delegates in the negotiations.  

  • The query sought member feedback of South-South cooperation and how this work

    s in the Pacific and beyond and to gain some insights from experiences and lessons learned.

    The feedback provided will eventually be used as input to an ‘Issue Brief’ being prepared by the UNDP Pacific Centre, which will include success stories, pitfalls and opportunities.

    It would also guide the upcoming second phase of the “South-South Cooperation between Pacific and Caribbean SIDS on Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Management” project (termed the “South South SIDS Project”) that is targeted at strengthening climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction capacity in SIDS, based on the transfer of appropriate “Southern” expertise and technologies.

     

  • style="font-size:16px;">The recurrence of overly abundant seaweed blooms is becoming a concern for many Pacific countries, with recent and problematic experiences cited in Fiji, Cook Islands, Solomon Islands, Kiribati and Tuvalu.

    style="font-size:16px;">These concerns were discussed by an unprecedented 40 respondents from across 17 countries in Pacific Solution Exchange’s recent e-conversation about seaweed proliferation, as posed by Dr Antoine De Ramon N’Yeurt who is a research fellow with the European Union Global Climate Change Alliance Project (EU GCCA) with the Pacific Centre for Environment & Sustainable Development (PACE-SD), based at the University of the South Pacific.

    style="font-size:16px;">The discussion revolved around confirmation of this issue then about whether prevention, removal or utilisation is the best solution to the problem. The fact this Pacific-based discussion went global seems indicative of shared international concerns about the increasing prevalence of excessive seaweed and its detrimental impacts on marine and coastal ecosystems, not to mention the foul stench!