The United States government supports various training and climate change-related programmes with the ultimate goal of building resilient communities in the Pacific.
Through its Embassy in Fiji, it has funded several relief efforts including the distribution of aid through the Fiji Red Cross Society in the immediate aftermath of Cyclone Winston.
Last Thursday, US Ambassador to the South Pacific, Judith Cefkin, opened a two-week long workshop held at the University of the South Pacific (USP) in Suva dedicated to Ocean Acidification Measuring and Monitoring.
The phenomenon has been recognised as a major threat to the wider global marine ecosystem.
The US Government has also made a pledge to forward gender equality initiatives in the region, with expectations that climate change may give rise to further inequalities.
Ambassador Cefkin, in an interview, discussed the plans behind the goal of building stronger, more resilient communities in the Pacific.
Here are excerpts from the interview:
Fiji Sun: Tell me a bit about the work the United States is doing in the Pacific with regard to climate change?
Ambassador Cefkin: I wanted to talk about some of the various programmes we’ve had going on and the various areas of environmental co-operation and conservation. We have been supportive of an initiative called Fish 2.0. It’s a public-private partnership so we are working together with an organisation in the United States, based in California. It is a global competition that seeks to match entrepreneurs working in the fisheries business with investors, but it is specifically to support those involved in the fisheries sector that have very innovative techniques that are environmentally sound and help fish in a sustainable manner.