U.S. helps Samoa to fight climate change
Tourist operators in Samoa’s most disaster prone areas will soon receive much-needed assistance to help in their fight against climate change, courtesy of USAID.
USAID has provided US$150,000 (T$330,000) in technical assistance to enhance the resiliency of tourism-reliant communities to climate change risks.
Working with UNDP and the Samoa Tourism Authority, this assistance will allow Samoa to access up to US$7.1 million (T$15.62m) in Global Environment Fund (GEF) money to mitigate the effects of climate change on small scale tourist operators and their neighbouring communities.
At the request of UNDP Samoa, ADAPT Asia Pacific dispatched the services of a Senior Project Preparation Specialist, Chris Manu, to assist UNDP, Samoa Tourism Authority and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in the preparation of the GEF compliant project proposal.
Last Wednesday, the project team presented their findings to STA CEO,Papali’iSonja Hunter and to the Regional Director of USAID Dennis Wendel who is currently in Samoa on a fact-finding mission.
Mr.Wendel said USAID key priorities in the region include helping Pacific Island communities to mitigate the effects of climate change and aiding in disaster preparedness.
“I believe that by carefully selecting programs and priorities and collaborating with governments in the region and other international development programs, we can provide technical support to leverage assistance and provide leadership in key technical areas,” he said.