Late March was a milestone for the RESCCUE Project and its Vanuatu team.
They joined delegations from across the Pacific, including RESCCUE pilot sites of New Caledonia, Fiji and French Polynesia. Representatives from community and business leaders, NGO's global donors, research agencies and governments joined the Pacific Community (SPC) to share and celebrate climate change adaptation actions and the insights generated over the last few years.
What is RESCCUE?
RESCCUE is a regional project implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC). The project has one goal - to strengthen the Pacific Island's resilience towards the adaption of climate change.
Since 2015, WSP Opus has been leading a number of activities and initiatives. The activities include waste management, ecotourism, alternative incomes, marine capacity building and education. Our people are also involved in the management and protection of vulnerable coastal areas that, in total cover 50 km of marine ecosystem. Protective actions involve protecting biodiversity, soils and water resources; whilst controlling pests are known to affect the aforementioned.
The insights that RESCCUE has gathered over the past four-years will shape the design of future adaptation and resilience projects in the Pacific. Principal Professional of Sustainability and Resilience, Dr Rown Dixon managed and coordinated the project.
He said: "It's been a privilege to help these community, business and NGO and government leaders from across Vanuatu collaborate and design their own integrated coastal management framework, plans and actions." Dixon says this has led to the prioritisation and the local management of the marine and terrestrial environment, partnering with neighbouring tourism operators to develop a conservation trust, and the financing of the resilience activities and programmes.
"The last few months have marked a transition as the project closes and those local partnerships solidify, taking ownership and financial responsibility for their future resilience actions. It is a considerable achievement for these communities, such conservation finance mechanisms are not easily implemented."
The success of these projects has ultimately helped the development and recent announcement of the Pacific Initiative for Climate and Biodiversity, which will scale up the adaptation and nature-based solutions and impacts across the Pacific.