A five-day program was held on May 7 to 11 to help people and organizations in Palau develop fundable climate change adaptation proposals.

With Palau being among the small island developing states that are vulnerable to the effects of climate change, a capacity building program that is part of the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) support to help Pacific Island nations was conducted to help empower organizations here come up with fundable project proposals that would help increase resilience to climate change.

NAP Country Support Consultant and program facilitator Keith Andrew Bettinger said in an interview with Island Times during the culmination of the program that the reason why they conducted the event was to inform Palauans that there is significant amount of international finance available to support climate change adaptation projects.

“Palau has been prioritized because it is a small island developing state,” Bettinger said.

“What we are working on is how to design projects that effectively address the needs of the people in Palau and the vulnerabilities to climate change that are experienced by the people of Palau and construct those projects in such a way that they can attract financing from grants from abroad,” Bettinger explained.

The USAID together with its partners, the Office of Project Management and The Nature Conservancy, had partnered for the event to help people systematically develop project ideas or interventions that will address their needs.

According to Bettinger, there are many international financing such as the Green Climate Fund, the adaptation fund, and bilateral donors like USAID that can support any organized groups that are concerned about environment conservation and the impacts of climate change can apply.

The participants of the program, according to Bettinger, had raised problems regarding changing rainfall regimes or the changing amounts of seasonality of rainfall, increasing temperatures, increased and stronger typhoons, coral bleaching and sea surface temperatures, and acidification of the sea, among others.

Bettinger said that Palau has not avail of a project financing from the Green Climate Fund yet unlike its neighbors like the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Vanuatu, Fiji, Samoa, and the Solomon Islands which already have their Green Climate Fund projects. (Rhealyn C. Pojas/Reporter)