The Pacific Community’s Global Climate Change Alliance funded by the European Union (EU) is the proud recipient of the 2019 Energy Globe Award. With more than 182 participating countries and over 2000 project submissions annually, the Energy Globe Award, also known as World Awards for Sustainability and Nature’s Nobel Prize, is one of the most prestigious environmental awards worldwide.
The GCCA+ project won the Energy Globe National Award for Palau and is one of the finalists for the International Award. The project’s approach was to share coastal management experiences through a learning exchange between Tonga and Palau.
The project has piloted an innovative coastal protection measure in three coastal communities in Eastern Tongatapu, combining hard and soft engineering such as semi-permeable groynes which allow sediment to move along the coast with beach re-nourishment. These coastal communities are now better protected from the effects of storms and storm surges and the wider population of Tongatapu is also benefitting from the three coastal recreation areas established by the project.
The Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation for the Pacific, Mr Christoph Wagner said, “The EU is proud to support efforts of Pacific communities in building resilience to climate change and we would like to congratulate SPC, Palau and Tonga for carrying out this valuable peer to peer exchange which now is being recognised globally. We will further promote concerted efforts to share knowledge, skills, expertise and resources among Pacific Islands.”
The GCCA Pacific Islands Forum Support Programme (PSIS) project was a €11.4 million EU funded project, implemented regionally in partnership with SPC and nationally by each of the nine participating governments in Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Tonga and Tuvalu.
The second phase of the project, known as GCCA+ Scaling Up Pacific Adaptation (SUPA) is currently being implemented by the SPC in partnership with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and The University of the South Pacific (USP) and focuses on the same nine countries as well as Fiji.