Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category
News from the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP)
Waste Management training opportunities for the Pacific
Applications are being invited by SPREP for two Train-the-Trainers waste management courses (in March and April 2013) targeting Pacific islanders. Both courses focus on developing the skills of Pacific islanders in environmentally sound and practical waste management techniques with an emphasis on training the participants to become trainers for each module and to deliver the training on returning to their own countries.
Empowering Fijian women on proper waste management practices
The Clean Pacific 2012 Campaign – a regional campaign implemented by SPREP with an objective to promote better waste management and pollution control in the Pacific region through actions at the grassroots and government levels – has made it possible to educate women in Fiji on simple, proper waste management practices. The campaign provided funding assistance to the Lami branch of the Catholic Women’s League (CWL), which was nominated to implement the grassroots project in Fiji.
SPREP and Westpac Banking Corporation actively campaign for a Clean Pacific
The Clean Pacific 2012 Campaign has delivered additional results thanks to a unique partnership agreement between SPREP and Westpac Banking Corporation (Westpac) established in June 2012. As a result of this partnership, there are now more awareness resources available to Pacific Islanders in the form of 350 Waste Education Handbook for schools, over 2,500 posters, and 3,000 copies of each factsheet on topics such as Actions for a Clean Pacific, Lead Acid Battery Management and Waste Management in the Tourism sector. There are also more avenues for Pacific Islanders to learn how to bring about a Clean Pacific, through Westpac’s Pacific network in the Cook Islands, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu.
For further details, please visit SPREP website: http://www.sprep.org/
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You are welcome to visit the IPLA Portal: www.iplaportal.org
IPLA, launched at CSD-19 in May 2011, aims to foster partnerships among local authorities, private and industry sector, international organizations, donor agencies, scientific and research institutions, and NGOs in achieving sustainable waste management. IPLA membership is open to all interested entities that are aligned with its mission. To register with IPLA, please visit the website, click here.
Pacific islands drop diesel for 100 percent solar power
Source: Alertnet // Peter Madden
Solar panels have replaced diesel generators on Tokelau, an island grouping in the South Pacific. Photo: PowerSmart Solar
by Peter Madden
The island nation of Tokelau switched on the third and final installment of its new solar energy grid last week, earning praise around the world as the first country to become entirely solar-powered—except it’s not a country.
Made up of three tiny tropical atolls – a few specks in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean – Tokelau is a dependent territory of New Zealand, whose government’s international aid and development programme advanced the $7 million to fund the project, aimed at replacing Tokelau’s diesel-powered energy grid.
“Electricity expenses make up a huge portion of their budget in Tokelau, which makes it hard for them to invest and look toward the future, so there’s a very clear financial argument for this system,” said Michael Bassett-Smith, managing director of Powersmart Solar, New Zealand’s largest solar power company, which directed the project.
Now, as a result of the project, “not only does the New Zealand aid programme save money from not having to import diesel, but Tokelau has a very clear sense of the price of their energy.”
Though its economy runs almost entirely on the sale of fishing licenses and Internet domain names and the atolls boast “at most” five motor vehicles, Tokelau still imported over 2,000 barrels of diesel per year at a cost of $1 million New Zealand dollars ($825,000) to provide electricity to its approximately 1,400 people.
According to Mika Perez, Tokelau’s director of economic development, natural resources and the environment, the jump to solar power is both a cost-saving measure and a commitment to environmental sustainability on the frontier of climate change.
“The industrial nations are contributing to climate change through emissions of fossil fuels into the atmosphere, affecting Tokelau, indirectly, quite a bit,” said Perez. Now, “Tokelau will take the lead in harnessing the sun to provide renewable energy, and other countries will look at us and know that we are doing something about it, and they should do their part.”
RISK FROM SEA LEVEL RISE
At no more than two meters (6 feet) above sea level, Tokelau is particularly vulnerable to climate change and will be among the first to feel its effects. According to Perez, the islands have already experienced significant coastal erosion.
Perhaps the good news, not only for Pacific islanders but for the industrialized world as well, is that the challenges overcome to install 4,032 solar panels on islands 500 kilometers (300 miles) from their nearest neighbors were logistical rather than technical.
How do you transport a heavy piece of equipment from a ship to a skiff to a coral atoll? How do you correct mistakes from nearly 4,000 kilometers (2,500 miles) away? How do you convince the locals that coconut trees have to be cut down to clear land for the construction of a cement foundation? These questions — and countless others — had to be answered to make the project work.
“We want to do more in the Pacific,” said Bassett-Smith of PowerSmart Solar, “and we have a fine delivery system now. …. The cost of electricity is going up. Momentum is on our side.”
Peter Madden is a US-based writer who formerly lived in New Zealand and Australia.
Financial Resources for Investing in Sustainable Energy Projects
What will be the sources of financial resources for investing in Sustainable Energy Projects and the role of SIDS DOCK?
SIDS DOCK will facilitate funding for investment in sustainable energy projects through a combination of sources including the SIDS themselves (government, private sector, social organizations), and the global private sector and development partners, with the goal of transforming the highly inefficient and fossil fuel dependent energy sector. SIDS DOCK will seek to promote national /regional energy investment bonds. Global private sector funding will come from a variety of sources ranging from socially responsible investors, financial institutions, and project financing.
Additionally, SIDS DOCK will work with the key sponsors of the global carbon markets to securitize future emission reduction from SIDS. Success in securitizing future emission reduction will facilitate early and increased flows of financial investments into sustainable energy projects.
Public-private partnerships represent a proven mechanism for financing and/or technology transfers, and would be promoted by SIDS DOCK as a principal means of investments in sustainable energy projects in SIDS. Also, SIDS DOCK would work with bilateral donors and multilateral organizations to consider invest equity in these projects. Proceeds accruing from such investment would be available for further project financing in the SIDS.
A Memorandum of Agreement for establishing the SIDS sustainable energy initiative, SIDS DOCK, was formally signed by ten countries in December 2009: Bahamas, Belize, Cape Verde, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Mauritius, Palau, St. Lucia, Seychelles, and Solomon Islands. In February 2010, Grenada signed on. Nations committed to signing are Barbados, Samoa, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The following countries have projects in development: The Commonwealth of the Bahamas, Belize, Dominican Republic; Grenada and Jamaica with two projects each. The seven projects are classified in four areas:
- Biofuels Production;
- Energy Conservation;
- Energy Efficiency, and;
- Renewable Electricity Generation.
How To Generate Financial Resources for Adaptation to Climate Change
How Can SIDS Generate Financial Resources for Adaptation to Climate Change through the Energy Sector and How would SIDS DOCK Help?
GHG from the SIDS energy sector is estimated at 38 million tons of carbon annually. Based on projected carbon price of USD 20 per ton, a 25 percent reduction in carbon emissions by SIDS traded on the global carbon market would be equivalent to USD160 million per year. Acting collectively, it would be possible for SIDS to derive a significant amount of these financial flows, compared to acting individually. The main role of SIDS DOCK would be to organize the documentation and processing of the avoided carbon emission to have them certified and marketable. As many projects will be small in scale, SIDS DOCK would have to do a bundling exercise in order to reach the necessary transaction threshold.
The high level of dependence on costly petroleum fuels to provide energy services represents the major source of economic vulnerability for the majority of small islands States. In many cases, the cost of imported petroleum is more than 25 percent of foreign exchange earnings. Member States of AOSIS consume in excess of 220 million barrels of petroleum. Depending on the price of petroleum, this cost SIDS billions or tens of billions of foreign exchange each year. Minimizing dependence on petroleum fuels by increasing energy efficiency and development of the vast renewable energy sources will make SIDS less vulnerable and generate significant employment. The expansion in economic activity will mean increased financial resources for the country. Growing economies will generate increased amounts of financial resources to help meet the challenges of adapting to the adverse consequences of human-induced climate change.