Training series to help address capacity gaps when effectively applying Environmental and Social Safeguards and Impact Assessment tools in the Pacific Islands region

When it comes to effectively applying Environmental and Social Safeguards (ESS) and Impact Assessment (IA) tools in our Pacific Islands region, we face many capacity gaps. ESS and IA tools can help us to manage the impacts of infrastructure and projects in our island countries with the goal of achieving sustainable development for our Pacific islands.

To help address this, a free online training series has taken place, open to stakeholders that deal with ESS and IA across our Pacific Islands.

Building on the success of the first and second regional training series, the latest series of the Pacific Learning Partnership for Environmental and Social Sustainability (PLP-ESS) training officially kicked off on 30 March 2022 with the successful delivery of the seventeenth training module. 

The session, which was moderated by the new PLP-ESS co-ordinator Ms Ofeira Angelo-Morjaan and delivered by Ms Jean Williams of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), introduced the Pacific Regional Infrastructure Facility’s (PRIF) Shared Approach for Management of Environmental and Social Risks Impacts for Pacific Island Countries. Discussed during the session were the methods and procedures for implementing safeguard/environmental and social policies across the Pacific islands, recognising several challenges and conditions unique to the region. 

“The PLP/ESS Partnership 3rd phase of the Capacity-building programme gained a lot of interest and participation from our Pacific Islands representatives. This revealed the importance of the partnership approach in strengthening and raising knowledge for countries environmental planning practitioners in their decision-making process,” said Jope Davetanivalu, the Acting Director of Environmental Monitoring and Governance of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP). 

“The participation of the Pacific Regional Infrastructure Facility (PRIF) on the importance of the shared approach is a step in the right direction where all players contribute to the management of environmental and social risks and impacts of development in the region.”

Hitting a new milestone, the session had over 85 participants from across the Pacific region in attendance, who had the opportunity to share their unique experiences. The relevance of the session was underscored by vibrant discussions shared by panellists and participants on how the PRIF Shared Approach fits into the highly variable and sometimes complex Safeguards landscape in the region, and how it could be applied effectively.

With COVID-19 affecting travel and work arrangements in the Pacific region, the PLP-ESS virtual delivery mode has proven effective and successful at reaching, engaging, and upskilling practitioners across the region since 2020.

The third round of PLP-ESS trainings will continue with eight modules delivered weekly from March to May 2022, addressing a wide range of topics and capacity gaps faced by Pacific Island safeguards practitioners and administrators.

This story was written by Leanne, originally published at SPREP on 04 April 2022, reposted via PACNEWS.

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