Friday, October 17, 2014

Applying cost-benefit analysis principles to climate change and disaster risk in FSM

Published on 14 October 2014
The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) has partnered with key agencies in the region to deliver a specialised cost-benefit analysis training workshop for government officials in Kosrae, Federated States of Micronesia.

The workshop took place last week as part of the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (PPCR) - a project that seeks to pilot and demonstrate ways in which climate risk and resilience may be integrated into core development planning and implementation by providing incentives for scaled-up action and initiating transformational change.

Pictured above: Workshop trainers and participants in Kosrae, Federated States of Micronesia

Organised in response to a request from the Kosrae State Government, the workshop aimed to strengthen the capacity of key ministries to apply cost-benefit analysis to development projects, taking into account climate change and disaster risks.

The Governor of Kosrae State, the Hon. Lyndon Jackson was instrumental in facilitating this activity and established a Steering Committee to drive the situation analysis to identify three initiatives that would be the focus of SPREP's work. The other two initiatives are central agency appraisal functions and monitoring and evaluation for decision-makers. Asked about the importance of the workshop Governor Jackson said:

"It is well documented that Kosrae is extremely vulnerable to climate change and disaster risks with most of our people and infrastructure located on the coastal fringe. We have and will continue to experience a lot of flooding, storm surges and coastal erosion. Building local capacity to develop quality proposals that will assist us to effectively address these risks is a priority for my administration and for the people of Kosrae."

Participants at the workshop welcomed the training and the new resources that were made available to them as part of this activity. Mr Alik Isaac, Kosrae State Director of Administration and Finance, explains:

"Since the late 1980s, numerous books and guides have been published to establish a systematic cost-benefit analysis but none of them have included case studies that are relevant to decision-makers in the Pacific. It was good to have a guide with local case studies launched at this workshop."

This PPCR activity is administered by ABD and implemented by SPREP through a Memorandum of Understanding with the Office of Environment and Environment and Emergency Management in the Federated States of Micronesia. The World Bank and Secretariat of the Pacific Community are also part of the programme that will be assisting Kosrae.

PPCR Project Manager, Luatutu Andre Volentras, welcomed the close collaboration of SPREP, SPC, USP, USAID, UNDP to jointly deliver the cost-benefit analysis training, noting that this was consistent with the PPCR philosophy of building on current development partner initiatives and not taxing the limited absorptive capacity of many Pacific island countries.

The training was carried out by Aaron Buncle, Baljeet Singh, Marco Arena and Markand Bhatt.

Article written by Mr. Andre Volentras.

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