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Resilience certificates aim to address climate change in the Pacific

The development and review of the Regional Resilience Certificates 2 and 4 will open new opportunities in the fight against climate and environmental issues across the Pacific.

The Pacific Community's (SPC) Educational Quality and Assessment Programme (EQAP) and the Geoscience, Energy and Maritime (GEM) division partnered to develop and review the two certificates to equip the Pacific people in addressing the region's climate and environmental issues at the community level.

GEM's Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change and Resilience (PACRES) Technical Vocational Education and Training Coordinator, Melinda Mathers, highlighted that these certificates would open opportunities for the Pacific people, especially youths, as change agents in their communities.

"As graduates, they can be community facilitators on Climate Change/Disaster Risk Reduction (CC/DRR) related activities, they can be programme implementers and champions of any CC/DRR initiatives introduced to the communities or what the communities are engaged to,"said Mathers.

EQAP's Professional Officer - Qualification Development, Apenisa Tamani, explained that these qualifications were initially developed in response to the need in the region, which was identified through a Training Needs and Gap Analysis (TNGA).

The TGNA was conducted by the European Union Pacific Technical and Vocational Education and Training (EU PacTVET) project in 2014.

"It was identified that climate change and resilience is only taught at post-graduate, masters and PhD levels". the regional qualifications in resilience help bridge the gaps in terms of knowledge, skills and competencies from what is taught at primary and secondary level to post-secondary/tertiary/TVET training," said Tamani.

Tamani added that these certificates are valuable as they are relevant to the region and are contextualised to suit the unique challenges faced by countries in the Pacific.

"It is therefore critical that those dealing with climate and environmental issues at the community levels are trained and equipped to meet the challenges brought on by climate change, and the regional certificates in resilience are the avenues through which people's capacities can be strengthened and their knowledge enhanced," Tamani added.

EQAP supported the qualifications development process, which assisted the Industry Advisory Committee (IAC) in reviewing and writing the key features of the qualifications to ensure that what's developed is current and relevant to the needs of the industry and will meet the requirements for accreditation.

Mathers added that the two qualifications were reviewed and developed by engaging experts from 14 Pacific countries; "therefore, these are owned by the Pacific people and are for the Pacific environment."

"These qualifications are geared towards scaling up the TVET pathway in the Pacific. This means the most recent resilience qualifications are superseded, and the current ones are more relevant as I they cover vulnerable sectors such as fisheries, agriculture, tourism, and coastal resource management to name a few," said Mathers.

EQAP facilitated the accreditation of the qualifications where external evaluators were engaged to evaluate the applications, review the recommendations from the evaluation by the Accreditation Committee and the final approval of the recommendations by the Pacific Board for Education Quality (PBEQ).

The two certificates were approved for accreditation in March 2022 by PBEQ and are available for any training provider in the Pacific region if they meet the physical facilities and teaching resources for delivery.