Promoting outer island development through the Integrated Energy Roadmap

January 28, 2021

Distinguished guests – the Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Infrastructure & Sustainable Energy (MISE), the representative from the Environment & Conservation Division (ECD) i.e. the office of the Operational Focal Point of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the representative from the Development Bank of Kiribati (DBK), esteemed partners and stakeholders of the project, the Energy Planning Unit, POIDIER project management unit, and UNDP colleagues. It is an honor to deliver this speech, on behalf of UNDP, as the implementing agency of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), which is providing incremental funds for the project.

The Promoting Outer Island Development through the Integrated Energy Roadmap (POIDIER), as you are aware, is a four (4) year climate change mitigation project. It is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), under its 6th funding cycle (GEF-6), with a total GEF/UNDP approved budget of US 5 million 379 thousand 452 dollars and is implemented in partnership by the Government of Kiribati and UNDP. In the climate change mitigation/energy portfolio of our office, POIDIER has the highest budget so far.

UNDP is pleased to continue its support to energy activities to improve livelihoods and achieve sustainable development objectives at the local, national and global levels. As you may be aware, our work as guided by the UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021 is focused on strengthening capacities for energy transformation. We support initiatives that improve:

  1.  The volume of investment leveraged from public and private sources;
  2. Solutions applied at scale to accelerate transition to improved energy efficiency and clean energy; and
  3. Growth in installed base of power generation from clean and/or renewable energy sources.

Activities in these areas complement and help integrate GEF programmes in the field of climate change and support sustainable livelihoods.

Ladies and Gentlemen, let me reaffirm the commitment of the United Nations that illustrates the context in which this project will be implemented, the timeliness as well as the significant opportunities it provides.

In December 2012, the UN General Assembly declared 2014 -2024 The Decade of Sustainable Energy for All. This commitment underscores the importance of energy issues for sustainable development and for the elaboration of the post-2015 Development Agenda. Directly relevant to this is the development objective of POIDIER i.e. enabling enhanced outer island development through the achievement of the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (EE) targets of Kiribati’.

The Inception Phase of POIDIER provides an opportunity for the Project Management Unit (PMU) to become acquainted with the project, its agreed strategy, expected outputs and outcomes, measurement of results, impacts or benefits to the stakeholders including women, the risks etc.

It is also an opportunity for the stakeholders and partners to provide input on the annual work plan, confirm implementation arrangements and establish collaboration on areas of possible overlap considering recent developments. It provides an opportunity to finalize any outstanding implementation details and present them to UNDP for clearance. The Inception Phase also brings new momentum to the project after the relatively quiet period during the project approval process. The Inception Phase is of importance in this case due to the time lag between initial project design and implementation. As such, there is a need for adaptive management to reflect changes in the project environment.

We are at the beginning of the Inception Phase and therefore it is vital that suggestions, issues, and concerns concerning the current project design and set-up are voiced now, so it will be taken on-board when validating the key project elements. The Inception Workshop is not the last stage of the Inception Phase. Instead, it is the first major step of the Inception Phase and based on the outcomes from this workshop and other work done, an Inception Report will be prepared.

In addition to the expectation of the workshop provided in the agenda, the workshop will also be an opportunity to introduce you as key stakeholders to the UNDP/GEF team that will support the project during its implementation. These include the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji (PaO) and the UNDP-GEF Regional Technical Advisor for Climate Change Mitigation based at the UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub. 

We would like to express our gratitude towards the GEF for providing the resources for POIDIER. This new cooperation project adds substantially to the support provided by GEF to Kiribati towards climate change mitigation. In addition, we would like to thank the Government of Kiribati in entrusting UNDP to be the implementing partner for this GEF-6 climate change mitigation project particularly those who are providing co-financing to POIDIER i.e. the Ministry of Infrastructure & Sustainable Energy (MISE), and the Development Bank of Kiribati.

Our sincere gratitude to MISE, and the Energy Planning Unit for your support to project formulation and inception. Finally, we trust that full cooperation will be provided from collaborating partners to ensure the successful implementation of POIDIER so that the targeted goal and objective are realized to make a difference to the lives of the Kiribati people. With these words, I wish you a successful and rewarding workshop.

Vinaka vakalevu, Thank You.