Draft UNDP/UNFPA Programme for PICTs Addresses Environmental Sustainability, Climate Change

13 June 2012: The Executive Board of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS) released a draft sub-regional programme document for the Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs) for 2013 to 2017. The programme includes support for accelerated action toward the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), including on climate change, disaster risk reduction (DRR), and environmental management activities.

The Board circulated the document ahead of its second regular session, which will be held from 4-10 September 2012, at UN Headquarters in New York, US.

The draft programme contains four sections: situation analysis; past cooperation and lessons learned; proposed progamme; and programme management, monitoring and evaluation. An annex outlines expected results and resources, noting that UNDP plans to support country-led development efforts through strengthening linkages between country and sub-regional initiatives, and increasing coordination among UNDP Pacific offices. The programme includes increasing community resilience to cope with climate change and mainstreaming climate change into national development strategies.

The document highlights development challenges faced by PICTs, including climate change vulnerability, high energy costs and rising sea levels. It notes the region's progress towards MDGs, particularly on achieving universal education, improving maternal health and reducing child mortality in the Cook Islands, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu.  However, the document stresses, increased effort is needed to accelerate progress on environmental sustainability, gender equality and poverty reduction. According to the draft, up to 50% of the sub-region's biodiversity is at risk, raising concerns about coastal management and fisheries sustainability.

The draft subregional programme includes activities in the Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Fiji, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. [Publication: Draft Subregional Programme Document for the Pacific Island Countries and Territories, 2013-2017]