The Japanese Government has once again, helped in the development of Pacific island nations, with its Pacific Environment Community (PEC) Fund, administered by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS).
In 2009, the Japanese government endorsed the contribution of US$66 million in financing efforts to solve the serious issues of water security and access, and the provision of solar energy around the Pacific. The fund has provided sea water desalination plants and solar power generation systems.
“Our government’s goal of attaining 30 per cent access to renewable energy by 2020 has been achieved through the installation of 800k grid connected renewable energy system,” said Hubert Yamada, Assistant Secretary, Energy from the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM).
Now, the funding has provided 1.3 million megawatt hours of electricity per annum to urban areas where there was less or no electricity at all, and produced 249 million litres of safe water annually in seven Pacific countries.
The environmental benefits include a significant reduction in the use of fossil fuels, the reduction of approximately 4,200 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually across the Pacific and substantial fuel cost savings of hundreds of thousands of US dollars.
PEC Fund coordinators met earlier this week in Fiji to exchange views on further implementations and strengthening the sustainability of the solar power and safe water initiative.
“Significant progress has been made by Forum Island Countries implementing these projects across the region. Installation has now been completed in 11 out of the 14 Forum island countries. This week gives country coordinators a wonderful opportunity to get together and share their project and practice experiences. Part of the success of the Fund has been country ownership, its collaborative approach with countries and communities. This week’s gathering will further enhance that spirit of regional collaboration into the future,” said Ms. Cristelle Pratt, Deputy Secretary General, Strategic Partnerships and Coordination at the Forum Secretariat.
Papua New Guinea was one of the island nations that attended the meeting. Other Forum island countries in attendance include Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Republic of Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.