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USAID Partners with UNDP, Samoa Tourist Authority to Helps Fight Climate Change

USAID Partners with UNDP, Samoa Tourist Authority to Helps 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 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 in Global Environment Fund (GEF) money to mitigate the effects of climate change on small scale tourist operators and their neighboring communities.

At the request of UNDP Samoa, ADAPT Asia Pacific dispatched the services of a Senior Project Preparation Specialist Mr. 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.

On Wednesday, the project team presented their findings to STA CEO Sonja 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.

After the presentations, Mr. Wendel and U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Chad Berbert, accompanied the taskforce committee to Aleipata to meet with tourist operators and hear their thoughts on the climate change adaptation.

During his time in Samoa, Mr. Wendel also met with heads of the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, representatives of SPREP and SUNGO, and attended the launch of NUS Community Radio and the opening of the university’s new editing facilities which were partially funded by the United States government. [FlickR photos]