A two-day virtual Steering Committee meeting of the European Union (EU)-funded Intra-ACP GCCA+ Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change and Resilience Building (PACRES) was held 19–20 August 2020 to update partner countries, and elicit their views on the project’s progress to date and proposed changes to activities. The meeting was hosted by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), from the Pacific Climate Change Centre in Apia, Samoa, with national representatives and partners participating virtually.

This was the first Steering Committee Meeting since the PACRES Inception and Planning Meeting  held in April 2019 in Samoa, and was an opportunity for PACRES to receive guidance, advice and direction on project activities from partner countries.

PACRES aims to ensure better regional and national adaptation and mitigation responses to climate change challenges faced by 15 Pacific ACP countries[1], most of which were able to participate in the Steering Committee Meeting.

While it was noted during the meeting that considerable progress was made since the Inception and Planning Meeting, the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent restrictions countries globally are experiencing have also had an impact on  project implementation.

The SPREP Director-General Mr Kosi Latu informed participants during his opening remarks that while COVID-19 has resulted in obvious restrictions resulting in the cancellation or postponement of meetings and activities, changing the way we work in response to these challenges has provided insights into new ways of working. In that context he thanked participants for making time to virtually attend this meeting.

Ms Anne Rasmussen, Assistant Chief Executive Officer, Climate Change and GEF Division of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Samoa, who chaired the meeting also noted it was apparent the COVID pandemic has and will continue to affect the pace, and efficiency of all project delivery across the region. However,  PACRES had responded well to the challenges and continued to progress through virtual dialogue and tangible implementation in countriesPACRES is advancing Pacific capacityin relation to the UNFCCC processes, national policy and planning, building the capacity of our youth through academia, scaling up  national adaptation pilot projects, contributing to regional climate and disaster frameworks through the Pacific Resilience Partnership and supporting private sector engagement.

The €12 million PACRES is funded by the European Union and is delivered jointly by SPREP, the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS), the Pacific Community (SPC) and the University of the South Pacific (USP).

For more information on the PACRES project, please contact Dr Martin Sharp, PACRES Project Manager at [email protected], or Ms Emma Arasi-Sua, PACRES Project Information and Knowledge Management Officer at [email protected]