Fishing vessels anchored in Point Cruz Harbour a major transshipment hub for the Pacific Tuna Fishery. Honiara, Solomon Islands, 3 April 2012 Photo: Koroi Hawkins all righst reserved

By Koroi Hawkins

DA NANG (RNZ PACIFIC) — Fourteen Pacific Islands countries are working together on a unique application to access a $USD70 million grant from the Green Climate fund for fisheries adaptation.
There are two parts to the proposal.
First acknowledging the burden of growing Pacific populations on coastal fisheries and increasing access to tuna to fill the gap in fish supply.
And second to develop an advanced warning system based on improved modelling that will enable Pacific countries to better track the predicted redistribution of tuna eastwards as a result of climate change impacts.
One of the proponents of the application Pacific Community fisheries adviser for climate, Ludwig Kumoru, said it was important to start thinking outside the box when it comes to climate impacts.
“You know we have focussed a long time on fisheries, just the impacts of fishing on fish stocks but these days we know that climate is also playing a role in what happens to the fish stocks. So, we have got to bring that discussion within fisheries management discussions,” Ludwig Kumoru said.
The organisation that is assisting the Pacific countries to access the Green Climate Fund is called Conservation International.
Its senior director, Johann Bell, said going through the Green Climate Fund is the best way to access such a large grant for a regional project of this nature.
“There will be a total of $USD70 million in grant funding from the GCF. But we are also expecting substantial co-finance. So, in total its $USD120 million is what it will cozst to do this job over seven years,” Johann Bell said.
“A little over half of this will go towards strengthening Fish Aggregating Device programmes in each of the fourteen participating countries and the remainder will go towards developing this advanced warning system to reduce the uncertainty in the response of tuna to the warming ocean.”
The Green Climate Fund has approved the concept for the application and work is now underway to develop a funding proposal for the programme with the aim of submitting it in April 2024.
Ludwig Kumoru said the challenge now was to convince the Pacific countries involved to take ownership of the initiative and help drive it forward.
“It’s important because countries will have to feel that it is something that belongs to them…but to do that they will also have to help contribute towards the ideas,” Ludwig Kumoru said.
“Because whatever is being proposed may not be the same for every country. They have a way of doing things and through consultation we will have to build that relationship…then it will be easier for us to actually implement this project.”
The countries participating in the Green Climate Fund Regional Tuna Programme Proposal are the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palua, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu and the Federated States of Micronesia…. PACNEWS

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