29 October 2003

Major partnership to help manage local resources in the Pacific -1Major partnership to help manage local resources in the Pacific -2On World Environment Day, June 5, NZAID, the New Zealand Government's aid and development agency, and the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP), are jointly announcing a major environment and development funding programme to help Pacific communities manage environmental resources.

"Helping Pacific Island communities to manage local resources, such as coral reefs, local fisheries and native forests, is an important way New Zealand can help the Pacific towards a prosperous future," NZAID executive director, Peter Adams said today.

Over the next three years, NZAID will be contributing NZ$6 million to the GEF SGP, a corporate programme of the Global Environment Facility, implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

"The fund works by encouraging communities to apply for funding support up to US$50,000 per project. Typical projects would involve enabling communities to access information and new technologies, sustainably develop natural resources, rehabilitate local ecosystems, improve livelihoods, and reduce vulnerability to natural disasters," said Frank Pinto, executive coordinator, UNDP/GEF.

"We want to help Pacific communities conserve and draw lasting benefits from their local resources, which are so crucial for day to day livelihoods. Our partnership with NZAID is a great opportunity to do this," said Delfin Ganapin, global manager of the programme, who represented Mr Pinto in New Zealand.

The agreement was signed at the start of a 6-day workshop for Pacific grant managers in Auckland, New Zealand, jointly hosted by GEF SGP and NZAID.

The grant programme operates in Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Fiji, the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau and Marshall Islands. Programmes are expected to be established in Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau, Vanuatu, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Tonga, Nauru, and Solomon Islands over the coming year.