On Thursday 12th November 2020, Her Excellency Ms. Cho Shin-Hee, the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Fiji, opened the Regional Validation Workshop for the Capacity Building to Strengthen Sustainable Implementation of Renewable Energy Technologies for Rural Energy Access, a Regional Project targeting Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. The project is funded by the Korean Government through the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and is implemented through the partnership between the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF).
The project’s main objective is to strengthen informed and inclusive decision-making by resource owners and local government officials for integration of Green Economy (GE) and Renewable Energy (RE) into Local Level Planning and to Strengthen Implementation of Renewable energy (RE) infrastructure for Rural Electrification. GGGI has worked closely with local partners and consultants and has drafted ten (10) training modules on GE and RE achieve this goal. In addition, local trainers have been engaged to deliver pilot capacity building trainings to selected remote rural communities.
H.E Ambassador Cho Shin- Hee in her opening speech said, “This workshop will be an ideal platform to share the progress of this project. In this workshop, we will discuss the right path to implement renewable energy technologies for rural area in Fiji together with three other countries. Climate change response is not simply an issue of one country, so it is very meaningful for these Melanesian countries to put their efforts together toward a common goal.”
Ambassador Solo Mara, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Development Forum in delivering his statement at the workshop, added “This project on “Capacity Building to Strengthen Sustainable Implementation of Renewable Energy Technologies for Rural Energy Access” could not have come at a better time. We in the Pacific Island region are not only recognizing the importance of renewable energy to greening our economy and lowering the cost of doing business across all economic sectors, but importantly contributing to the global target of reducing carbon emission”. Ambassador Mara went on to stress the significance of connecting Government Ministries and communities in terms of project implementation, as “this connection allows relationships and trust to build as the project progresses. Community members must be encouraged and enabled to genuinely participate in projects if they are to be sustainable. This validation workshop aims to incorporate that vital country specification into the training modules by listening to community feedback into the drafts.”
In his welcome address, Mr. Daniel Muñoz-Smith, GGGI Country Representative – Fiji, Kiribati, Tonga, Vanuatu, stated that “Succeeding the kickoff Regional Workshop held in April 2019, the project has completed the drafting of the 10 training modules in Green Economy and Renewable Energy, conducted pilot training of trainers in all 4 Melanesian countries as well as completed pilot trainings of remote communities. With the feedback received from trainers and communities in the piloting phase, the objective of the Regional Validation Workshop was to present, discuss and validate the feedback from each country, in order to facilitate the revisions and customize each of the 10 modules for finalization and to be rolled out for main community trainings in 2021. The project aims to train 3000 local government officials, traditional/community leaders, small businesses and local technicians, including women and vulnerable groups in each of the 4 countries in green economy and renewable energy modules”.
The two-day workshop, held in each of the 4 Melanesian countries and connected virtually, gathered and validated the feedback received from the piloting phase and has now entered the finalization stage, being carried out by GGGI, PIDF and consultants.
The GGGI, PIDF, KOICA and the Embassy of the Republic of Korea thanked all participants for their contribution in the validation workshop in ensuring that the training modules are well customized to their specific countries.