The side event on Vanuatu climate initiatives at the Moana blue pacific Pavilion

The Director of Climate Change, Mike Waiwai, said the progress in mainstreaming Vanuatu’s Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction (CCDRR) Policy into other sectors is 80 to 90% so far.

By 2025, Vanuatu should reach 100% climate policy mainstreaming, he said.

Director Waiwai was speaking this during a side event at the Moana Blue Pacific Pavilion at COP27 in Egypt. The side event brought various directors attending COP27 to share how they have been integrating climate change in their decision-makings and policies.

Waiwai said priorities of the department include improving knowledge management for climate adaptation and disaster risk reduction for communities.

Director for the Women’s Department, Rothina Noka, talked about the Gender and Protection Cluster in humanitarian action since after cyclone Pam in 2015. Led by the Department of Women’s Affairs in partnership with CARE and Save the Children, the cluster ensures child protection and disability inclusion in any humanitarian response.

Noka is one of the Directors attending COP27 for the first time after gender made it to the agenda at this year’s COP. She said attending the international climate conference made her realise how to address the needs of women and children under the UNFCCC mechanism.

Director of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD), Antoine Ravo, identified various climate initiatives being implemented by the department. One is the development of a new climate hybrid yam that can be harvested all year round and boost security.

Others include the Food Basket Project that is bringing seeds and planting materials of resilient crops to all area councils, also the establishment of Provincial Seed Centres where farmers are accessing open pollinated seeds.

He said the main message to take away from the first week of COP27 is strengthening partnership for joint work on climate, and how to achieve that is through finance.

Sam Armstrong from the Department of Biosecurity stressed mentioned the challenge of managing new pests driven by climate.

Director of Forestry, Rexon Vira, talked about enhancing mitigation efforts in the forest sector through the REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) Project. He also mentioned the development of a deforestation database that can be used in other Pacific countries.

Director of Livestock, Lonny Bong, said while the department has a target of achieving 500,000 cattle by 2025, it needs to find ways to reduce methane emissions. He said the department encourage traditional knowledge in raising livestock.