In-depth

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Beneficiaries of water accessibility, element of the CCSDP in the village of Saleaumua, Upolu, showing their appreciation during a site visit by Mr Vineet Bhatia. Photo Credit: UNDP Samoa MCO.

Sound environmental management and access to energy are essential components in any sustainable development strategy. This is especially the case in Pacific Island Countries (PICs) where the population relies heavily on natural resources for their livelihoods.

The Environment and Energy Unit of UNDP Samoa is based in Apia and is responsible for all energy, environment and UNDP-GEF funded programmes in Samoa, Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau. In addition, the Environment and Energy Section is also responsible for a number of Pacific regional environment and sustainable energy programmes in partnership with the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) the South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC), and the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA).

In line with UNDP's overall goal of enabling sustainable human development, the UNDP Environment & Energy Unit assists countries by facilitating access to funding opportunities from the UNDP, Global Environment Facility (GEF), bilateral and multilateral donors for environmental and natural resource management projects including sustainable energy. The unit has secured funding and positioned carefully designed environmental projects and programmes in each country.

UNDP promotes pro-poor and pro-growth adaptation that encourages climate-resilient economic development and sustainable livelihoods in the face of climate change. That means supporting countries to integrate climate-related risks and opportunities into national planning and poverty reduction, while addressing the needs of more vulnerable groups like women and indigenous people. It also means ensuring that those efforts are flexible and resilient enough to navigate the challenges that climate change may bring in the future.

With this aim, capacity development lies at the heart of UNDP’s approach to climate change adaptation. UNDP supports the creation of robust and responsive state institutions, capable public and private sector management, and skilled human resources able to innovate, adapt and deliver to the changing conditions.