TARAWA, KIRIBATI – 03 November 2021. Kiribati’s Ministry of Environment, Lands & Agriculture Development (MELAD) today launched the Climate Smart Agriculture (KCSA) project being implemented in partnership with the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and with support from the Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD). The 3-year KCSA projects aims to enhance adaptive capacity, strengthen resilience and reduce vulnerability to climate change of Kiribati island communities through introduction of low-cost technology, educating & training of local population and build capacity in the agriculture sector.
The launch event was opened by Secretary for MELAD, Mrs. Taare Aukitino Uriam, and followed by video remarks from Mr. Khalifa Jassim Al-Kuwari, Director General of QFFD. and Dr. Frank Rijsberman, Director General of GGGI .
The launch was attended by senior officials from the key implementing partners including Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MFED), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), NGO representatives from Live & Learn Environmental Education and OLSH, communities in South Tarawa and the staff of Agriculture and Livestock Division Tanaea.
Mrs. Uriam stated that this is the first project funded by Qatar in Kiribati and a landmark in Kiribati’s bilateral relationship with Qatar. It is a very timely project in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic as it will improve livelihoods for Kiribati people through building resilience against the impact of climate change, creating job opportunities, promoting good health, supporting schools and upscaling participation of small and medium businesses in the agriculture sector.
The Secretary made a special thanks to QFFD for their generosity in funding the AUD2.4m project. She extended her vote of thanks to GGGI for helping to roll-out this project and finally she thanked the key stakeholders and communities who will benefit from the activity.
GGGI’s Director General, Dr. Frank Rijsberman, also provided remarks at the launch and said that he has seen “firsthand the conditions on the (Kiribati) islands, the vulnerability to climate change is a huge challenge. I believe this project will make a key contribution to working with youngsters in school to have them work on school gardens at early stage and give them an education in what’s healthy food that can be grown in Kiribati and hopefully they can pursue a career in food security to grow food that Kiribati needs, become more climate resilient but also to have a healthier nutrition for the population”.
The Director General for QFFD, Mr. Khalifa Jassim Al-Kuwari also provided remarks and thanked the commitment of Government of Kiribati to foster green entrepreneurships that drove economic growth and environmental sustainability. He also encouraged every individual to take action to overcome the challenges behind the climate change and its impact, particularly in the most affected countries such as Kiribati and the Pacific islands.
The launch marked the beginning of two days of horticultural training at the RAK Antebuka as part of the KCSA project. Attended by community representatives from South Tarawa, the training delivered theory and practical activities including composting-making, soil health and plant nutrition, propagation methods and disease and pest management.
The target groups for the KSCA project are schools (Junior & Secondary), individuals, communities and micro and small enterprises aspiring to pursue agriculture activities.
The Climate Smart Agriculture project (KCSA) aligns with the Kiribati 20-Year Vision 2016-2036 and will further contribute to the implementation of the Kiribati Agricultural Strategy that GGGI helped develop in 2020.
KCSA will aim to enhance adaptive capacity, strengthen resilience and reduce vulnerability to climate change of Kiribati island communities through introduction of low-cost technology, educating & training of local population and build capacity in the agriculture sector. The target groups for the project are schools (Junior & Secondary), individuals, communities and micro and small enterprises aspiring to pursue agriculture activities.