5 Sep 2019

Pacific climate change centre opens in Samoa

6:37 am on 5 September 2019

A new facility dedicated to helping Pacific Island countries prepare for and cope with the impacts of the climate crisis is being officially opened today in Samoa.

The front of the Pacific Climate Change Centre

The front of the Pacific Climate Change Centre Photo: RNZ Pacific / Moera Tuilaepa-Taylor

The Pacific Climate Change Centre is the first of the its kind in the region and aims to deliver capacity development programmes in adaptation, mitigation, climate services and project development as well as acting as a hub for data collection and scientific research.

The centre comes under the auspices of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme or SPREP.

The director general of SPREP Kosi Latu says it is an important milestone for the region in the ongoing struggle to address the climate crisis.

"We hope that the benefits of the centre - through innovative solutions, the capacity building and training of our people - will put our members in good stead. Having the capacity and access to scientific data to be able to prepare themselves.

'To be able to use that as early warning to the impacts of events that are linked to climate change."

The Pacific Climate Change Centre was built with funding made available through the partnership between Samoa and Japan with New Zealand providing additional funding for the centre's personnel.