Description/achievement of initiative
In May of 2009, Pacific Island Forum Leaders met with the Government of Japan at the 5th Pacific Island Leaders Meeting (PALM 5) in Hokkaido, Japan. At the PALM 5 Summit, Leaders issued the Islanders Hokkaido Declaration which reaffirmed Leaders commitment to collaborate and cooperate on a wide range of issues.A significant part of the Declaration was the launch of the Pacific Environment Community (PEC) Fund, The PEC Fund is an initiative designed to promote the development and implementation of practical pacific-tailored approaches to combating the impacts of climate change. The Government of Japan made a contribution of ¥6.8billion (or approximately US$66 million dollars) as the PEC Fund to help FICs to tackle climate change issues with a focus on the provision of solar power generation systems and sea water desalination plants or a combination of both.
The process of accessing the funds is undertaken and owned by each country from proposal development, to implementation, to completion and ongoing operation and maintenance. Countries are able to access their individual country allocations through a two phase process . The first phase involves the development and submission of concept note(s) by each country. The concept note is assessed by the Project Management Unit and Technical Advisory Group. If a concept note is approved, countries are then invited to proceed to the second phase which involves the development of a more detailed project proposal based on the approved concept note. Once a detailed project proposal is submitted, the Project Management Unit and Technical Advisory Group make their assessments and recommendations are then forwarded to the Joint Committee who make a final decision on the proposal based on merit. If a detailed project proposal is approved by the Joint Committee, the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat then enters into a Financing Agreement with the recipient country and the project begins implementation.
Arrangements for Capacity-Building and Technology Transfer
The inclusion of capacity building activites into each proposal is an essential requirement and during the proposal assessment process, this is checked and assessed by the Technical Advisory Group to ensure it is included, realistic and is sustainable. Training is undertaken at various levels, at the community level for operation and maintenance of solar or sea water desalination systems, training of technicians on the job, training undertaken abroad at the factory sites. Selected personnel are trained on operation and maintenance and also the ongoing management of the technology.
Coordination mechanisms/governance structure
The PEC Fund is administered and managed by the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat across fourteen Forum Island Countries who receive an indicative allocation of USD4million to spend on projects. Each country has an indicative allocation of USD4million to support projects in FICs with a focus on the provision of Japanese solar power generation systems and sea water desalination plants or a combination of both. Agreed Guidelines and Project Procedures for the PEC Fund were adopted in 2010. They provided for the establishment of a governance structure for the PEC Fund including a Joint Committee, Project Management Unit and Technical Advisory Group. The Joint Committee comprises senior representatives of the Government of Japan and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. The Joint Committee is the decision making body for the PEC Fund and provides oversight and approves projects to be funded under the PEC Fund. To support the Joint Committee, a Project Management Unit was established in 2010 at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat tasked with and coordinate, monitor, and administer the PEC Fund, . The PMU is staffed by three personnel.An independent Technical Advisory Group (TAG) was also established, comprising experts specialising in the fields of climate change, renewable energy, water and sanitation. The Technical Advisory Group prpovides technical backstopping to the work of the Project Management Unit and undertakes technical assessments of project concept notes and detailed project proposals and makes recommendations to the JC for decision making.
Government of Japan, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat