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Climate change adaptation practitioners from across the Pacific region have descended on Fiji for an Impacts Analysis Methodology Training, hosted by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) under the European Union (EU) funded GCCA+ Scaling Up Pacific Adaptation (SUPA) Project. Held from 21 – 30 November 2022 in Lautoka, Fiji, the training is designed to enhance the capacity of Pacific practitioners in the fields of implementing adaptation, spatial mapping and knowledge management.  .

The Impacts Analysis Methodology was developed and tested on select adaptation interventions within the last five to six years, and trialed in Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau and Tonga. The methodology uses social surveys, GIS spatial mapping and checklists to assess impact, and the training this week provides an avenue for practitioners to field check these elements for varied sector‐adaptation measures.

The training is structured to share the impact methodology with partner countries and strike the right balance of theory and practical activities. Classroom hours consist of interactive sessions on the methodology, its application and analysis. Talanoa and networking sessions are run concurrently, ensuring participants are given the space to discuss with other peers, who have similar skill sets and background. Training participant, Ms Yvette Tarua, of the Climate Change Cook Islands Office shares the importance of the Talanoa sessions, “I’m appreciative of the Talanoa sessions, as an intern it helped increase my capacity by learning from adaptation experts and gave me valuable insight into climate change impact in the Pacific region”.

Field visits have been designed to give training participants the confidence to apply the impact tools, collect data and collate for analysis. Participants were split into groups with some spending two days on Nacula island  in the Yasawa group and others visited the Bula Agro Enterprises and the Fiji Met Services in Nadi.

Vatutavui village, on the northern side of Viti Levu was also one of the field visit locations. Heavily impacted by Tropical Cyclone Winston in 2016, Community member and former headman of Vatutavui, Mr Joseva Sadulu shared with the group his experience, “After Winston, 39 houses were flattened and plastic water tanks were carried away by the strong winds. To date, we still struggle with water shortage, therefore, need to ration water to households”. Participants were able to share their experiences with Mr Sadulu and the Vatutavui community and discuss solutions while using the checklist on characteristics to be measured for water security interventions, gathering more information on impact.

On the use of the impact tools, Ms Erana Aliklik, Project Co-ordinator with Nauru’s Climate Change and Natural resilience office says, “we don’t have many tools available to assess impact so this training has been beneficial as I will be using them when I return home. The exercise with the Vatu Tavui village allowed me to see how the checklist is run and also the importance of identifying the relevant questions ahead of a consultation”. She shares that impact tools also assist with better coordination among agencies in climate change resilience and disaster response.

The training activities and data collection will be fed into the newly built Impacts Methodology Database which will be launched on Monday 28 September 2022, followed by sessions on the data input, design and application of the database.

SPREP Impacts Analysis Adviser Ms Monifa Fiu says, “the launch of the database is the culmination of activities following the development of the Impacts Analysis Methodology. As part of the main regional training, country participants will be able to begin their profiling of select adaptation actions, gain practice on tailored survey tools, enter data, share project information and most importantly contextualise measuring impact”.

The training programme and the launch of the Impacts Methodology are part of SPREP’s efforts through the GCCA+ SUPA Project to scale up climate change adaptation measures through knowledge management and capacity building in the Pacific.

About GCCA+SUPA

The Global Climate Change Alliance Plus Scaling up Pacific Adaptation (GCCA+ SUPA) is a 4.5-year project (2019-2023) funded with € 14.89 million from the European Union (EU) and implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC) in partnership with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and The University of the South Pacific (USP), in collaboration with the governments and peoples of Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Tonga and Tuvalu.