Vanuatu Sets Up Environment, Climate Change Trust FundCatch of the Week
The Government of Vanuatu is setting up a trust fund for its environment and climate change initiatives.
The trust fund—set aside for Vanuatu’s Department of Environment Protection and Conservation (DEPC)—is part of the government’s preparations in further supporting the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) and is expected to strengthen the DEPC’s capacity.
The fund is also envisioned “to provide sustainable financing for environmental conservation and function as a reliable fund source to complement government allocation for long-term planning.”
The government said the local tourism industry will be the initial fund source. An expert in the field of environment trust fund management will be tapped and work closely with the DEPC, tourism operators, and other stakeholders.
The trust fund for climate change will also be handled by the DEPC. The fund “is envisioned to provide systematic and sustainable financing for the country’s responses to climate change impacts.”
For Vanuatu, the most threatening impacts in this archipelagic country are receding shorelines and saltwater intrusion into aquifers due to sea level rise.
Like the environment trust fund, the climate change trust fund is also expected to function as a reliable fund source to complement government allocation. An expert will be hired to work in close consultation with concerned government agencies and other stakeholders, and prepare a framework expenditure plan describing the projects and activities that the climate change fund will finance.
The CTI and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) are working together to protect the Coral triangle ecoregion, with programs such as ADB’s “Strengthening Coastal and Marine Resources Management in the Coral Triangle of the Pacific (Phase 2)” technical assistance (TA) project.
“For Vanuatu, the most threatening impacts in this archipelagic country are receding shorelines and saltwater intrusion into aquifers due to sea level rise.”
The trust funds are part of the TA project for Pacific countries.
ADB has included Vanuatu and Fiji in the list of Pacific countries which are part of the CTI—namely Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and Timor-Leste—to form the Pacific Coral Triangle. This is because Vanuatu shares the same environmental concerns with the Pacific CTI members.
The TA is aiming for “effective program management” as its target output for the whole TA timeframe from 2011 to 2015. A quarterly progress report said that within 2013, the Pacific Coral Triangle countries will have their own integrated coastal management plans and committees heading these programs.