Last week Palau and Tonga won an Energy Globe National Award and are now finalists for an International Energy Globe Award.

The media release from the European Union External Action that funds The Pacific Community’s Global Climate Change Alliance: Pacific Small Island States (GCCA: PSIS) stated that the award is a recognition for its outstanding work and contribution towards advancing peer to peer learning in climate change adaptation among Pacific communities.

The project’s approach to share coastal management experiences through a learning exchange between Tonga and Palau was lauded.

Representatives from Palau together with their counterparts from Tonga reviewed and discussed firsthand the possible coastal planning, management and protection solutions in a visit to Tongatapu,Tonga.

The project piloted a coastal protection measure in three coastal communities of Eastern Tongatapu, combining hard and soft engineering such as semi-permeable groynes which allow sediment to move along the coast with beach re-nourishment.

Following the exchange, Palau trialled similar coastal protection measures in the Rock Islands. These included the use of semi-permeable groynes and the re-positioning of small-scale tourism facilities further inland so as to allow for natural sand movement.

The press release states that The Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation for the Pacific Christoph Wagner said, “The EU is proud to support efforts of Pacific communities in building resilience to climate change and we would like to congratulate SPC, Palau and Tonga for carrying out this valuable peer to peer exchange which now is being recognized globally. We will further promote concerted efforts to share knowledge, skills, expertise and resources among Pacific Islands.” (By Eshan Kalyanikar)