World Bank Acting Country Director for Pacific Islands and Minister of Finance and Treasury Sign Grant Agreement for Solomon Islands’ “Increasing Resilience to Climate Change and Natural Hazards Project”

September 25, 2012

Solomon Islands ranks among 20 countries with the highest economic risk exposure to two or more hazards. 

HONIARA, September 24, 2012 –
Today a grant agreement was signed between the Solomon Islands’ Government (recipient) and the World Bank acting as the administrator of Trust funds provided by the Japan Policy Human Resource Development Trust Fund (PHRD) for the Solomon Islands’ “Increasing Resilience to Climate Change and Natural Hazards Project which will be implemented by the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change Disaster Management and Meteorology (MECDM).

The grant agreement in the amount of two million seven hundred thirty thousand United States Dollars (U.S$2,730.000) was signed by the World Bank Acting Country Director for Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste and the Pacific Mr. Ulrich Zachau and the Solomon Islands’ Minister for Finance and Treasury, Mr. Rick Houenipwela at the World Bank Office at Mud Alley in Honiara.

The funds will be used to support various efforts by the Solomon Islands Government in Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change Adaptation, and has the following three objectives: (i) integrate climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction across the Recipient’s sectors; (ii) improve climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction information and communication; and (iii) increase the resilience of rural communities to climate change and natural hazards.

The World Bank Acting Director Mr. Zachau said “I am pleased that the World Bank is helping to address climate change, a very important priority for the world and for the Pacific Islands including Solomon Islands.”

Implementation of the PHRD project will be under four components:

  1.  Coordination between Climate Change Adaptation & Disaster Risk Management Institutions
  2.  Strengthening climate and disaster risk information and communication
  3.  Community-led climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction investments and
  4.  Project management, monitoring and evaluation to ensure effective and efficient project coordination.

Speaking at the signing, Minister Houenipwela said, “The grant funding is a piece of assistance that can help us to address Climate Change and its associated risks which are pertinent to our country and to the livelihood of our people.”

We try to do climate change mitigation and adaptation in many ways, but the component of the project which addresses awareness and education about climate change is important because it empowers the people and helps them to protect their livelihoods from the impacts of climate change”, Minister Hou continued.

The project will use the institutional framework and participatory methodology established by the Solomon Islands’ Rural Development Program (RDP) and the MECDM’s risk assessment instruments, to identify and implement community-led subprojects to enhance their resilience to natural and climate change related hazards.  The RDP is part of the Solomon Islands Government’s initiatives to improve rural livelihoods by increasing access to community infrastructure and agricultural services, and support for rural businesses development.

Japan’s Ambassador to Solomon Islands Mr. Akira Iwanade, who was present to witness the signing said, “A priority area of Japan’s aid policy to Solomon Islands includes the areas of environment and climate change and I hope the PHRD funds will produce multiple positive effects to disaster risk management in Solomon Islands.”

The signing ceremony was witnessed by the Japan Ambassador to Solomon Islands Mr. Iwanade, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Resident Representative Mr. Yoshinobu Takishita, and Solomon Islands Government officials from the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology (MECDM).

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