Training of Trainers Workshop on “Capacity Building to Strengthen Sustainable Implementation of Renewable Energy Technologies for Rural Energy Access”

Suva, Fiji, November 22, 2021 – The Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), in partnership with the Climate Change and International Cooperation Division (CCICD) of the Ministry of Economy, conducted a Training of Trainers (ToT) Workshop on Capacity Building to Strengthen Sustainable Implementation of Renewable Energy Technologies for Rural Energy Access. The initiative is part of a 3-year regional project currently under implementation in the Melanesian countries: Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. The project is funded by the Republic of Korea through the Korea International Corporation Agency (KOICA) in partnership with GGGI and the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF). In Fiji, the project implementation will be coordinated by GGGI in partnership with the CCICD.

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 RE infrastructure for rural electrification. GGGI has worked closely with local partners and developed 10 training modules within the project context to achieve this goal. In addition, local trainers will be engaged to deliver these capacity building workshops throughout the identified communities in each of the 4 countries.

The ToT workshop kicked-off in each of the 4 countries on Monday, November 22, and ran until December 2. The purpose of this ToT workshop was to introduce the project and the training modules to selected in-country trainers. Discussions will be focused not only on the modules itself, but also on the best ways of delivering the content to the target remote and rural communities to ensure greater acceptance of the modules. To further help with this, the training modules are also being translated into each of the 4 countries local languages.

In delivering his opening remarks, the Country Director for KOICA Fiji Office, Mr. Kapchae Ra, highlighted that “the past decade has taught us that climate change impacts in the Pacific Region have been widespread and far-reaching. We have witnessed its negative impacts on the lives and livelihoods of many ordinary people in households and communities across Fiji and the neighboring Pacific Island Countries. Today, many more households than ever before have been left vulnerable and exposed to climate change. The COVID-19 pandemic has only worsened this situation.” He further added that KOICA is “proud to be part of this project as this project will contribute to achieving the global Sustainable Development Goals and the Nationally Determined Contributions of Fiji, PNG, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu,” and advised the workshop participants that it is his hope “that the trainings delivered through this project will help communities become more independent and climate-resilient. As such, your role as local experts in these trainings will be crucial to its successful implementation.” He also acknowledged all the members of the GGGI team for continuing to deliver the project despite the difficulties posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The welcome note was given by the GGGI Country Representative for Fiji, Vanuatu, Tonga and Kiribati, Mr. Daniel Muñoz-Smith, who gave a brief introduction about GGGI, highlighting its work with government partners and communities, and how the project is a great example of this. He stated that COVID-19 did put a delay on things, however, the great support by all country teams and partners such as PIDF, have kept things moving, and they look forward to completing the project in June next year.

Addressing the participants of the Training of Trainers workshop, he stated that they will be at the “forefront of helping communities to operate and maintain renewable technologies so that they can have ongoing energy, and its benefits, whether it be economical activities, education, studying and day to day life activities. He also stated that the trainers “are going to be the interface between the objectives of the program and the beneficiaries on the ground.”

The ToT workshop in Fiji was attended by 7 in-country trainers who have great experience in training and working with remote rural communities. Similar setup is being used in the ToT workshops in Vanuatu, PNG and Solomon Islands as well. The project aims to complete the training of trainers this year and is preparing to start conducting main community trainings in the 4 Pacific island countries from March 2022. All the training modules will also be launched in early 2022 and made publicly available on the online knowledge management platform developed under this project.