In top five in green energy

“I am very pleased that in Vanuatu that (development of green energy) is happening so quickly, within two years now we are talking about quite a strategic investment — the National Green Energy Fund and we are talking about some quite concrete projects on the ground linking energy and so we had a review recently of 25 country programmes and from our side, we agreed that Vanuatu was performing very well certainly in the top five of our 25 countries through a committed Government and through clear priorities that we are very happy to support.

“We are a membership organisation and our only goal is to support our members and that can only happen if we have a strong committed Government like in Vanuatu and of course there are quite a few countries that have important experiences that they are happy to share and I do believe experiences like in the national green energy fund that you are advancing in quite rapidly that other countries will be happy to learn from as well.”

Director General of Global Green Growth Institute or Triple GI, Frank Rijsberman made the statement in his address after signing the Country Planning Framework (CPF) with the Minister of Climate Change, Ham Lini at Warwick Le Lagon Resort & Spa in the recent past.

While welcoming the Minister of Climate Change, Minister of Lands Ralph Regenvanu and Director Generals of both Ministries and their senior political staff to the ceremony as well as senior representatives of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), Fiji based representative of Green Growth Fund Katarina says Vanuatu has supported the development of Global Green Growth to support the energy sector in line with the National Energy Roadmap.

From there the Ministry started working on the National Green Energy Fund which was endorsed for establishment by the Council of Ministers.

“And we are very happy to be supporting the operationalisation of that Fund.

“And also developing a pipeline of green energy projects to go along there to reach implementation on the groundwork in Vanuatu.

“The CPF follows along in that vein, it focuses on energy sector and supports two priorities for the Government,” Katarina says.

First of all in rural electrification, one of the CPF outcomes will be to support reaching the 60% rural electrification target of 2020 and also to lay the foundations to reach 100% in the years following.

The second outcome of the CPF is to promote and facilitate the use of green energy for economic growth in the productive sectors of Vanuatu particularly in the rural areas and targeting green energy for water, tourism, fisheries and agricultural sector.

“I would like to thank the Vanuatu Government as a whole and our counterpart Ministry of Climate Change for their strong support and commitment to developing the Country Planning Framework which will greatly assist us to plan and mobilise resources for Vanuatu over the next five years jointly and in partnership,” she concludes.

Vanuatu signed the Host Country Partnership Agreement with GGGI in 2015.

DG Jesse Benjamin thanks the Institute for helping to set up the National Green Energy Fund, which will help implement the objectives under the energy roadmap.

“I Think this is very important because we want something homegrown to assist us to implement what is in the policy”, the DG says.

In addition he reiterates the importance of using green energy for economic growth in rural areas targeting water, tourism, fisheries and agricultural sector and other sectors.

While GGGI focuses on energy, the DG says the Government is also looking at linking it to other sectors as well because sustainable development also encompasses all sectors.

He describes the signing of the Country Planning Framework as very important which provides guidance in the work of GGGI.

He says the partnership between GGGI and the Government will contribute to the development of the Country Planning Framework for the next five years.

Minister of Lands, Ralph Regenvanu says the Government initiated the Ministry of Climate Change, the first in the Pacific and one of the first in the world in 2013.

The Departments of Environment and Energy moved out of his Ministry to join the new portfolio.

Regarding the signing ceremony he says, “We are happy to see this happening because we are still working very closely together.

“In two days’ time (before last week) we are going to sign an MOU between the Department of Water Resources and the Department of Energy to collaborate together on developing both of those aspects of any development; water and energy and sanitation.

“The MOU will be a way of re-establishing connections that were broken by the administrative operations of the Departments,” he says.

“We will also sign an MOU with the Department of Cooperatives (and ni Vanuatu Business) for water management.

“I think those kinds of initiatives the way the Government is looking forward to decentralising and building better, with more planning, where we are about to gazette the physical plan for Luganville for the first time for an urban area to have a proper physical plan, are laying the groundwork for the Luganville Urban Development Project for next year.

“These planning aspects are becoming very important after the land management planning committee was set up a few years ago for the Government to decide what development to go where and how to make those developments as environmentally sustainable as possible.

“I think we will be leaning heavily on the expertise of the triple-G-I (GGGI) to help us in moving that agenda forward, as you’ve done with the national energy roadmap.

“We’ve also got the National Water Policy coming up to be launched very soon and many others.

“We’ve got the National Subdivision expansion of urban areas development zones in which we take into corporation all the different sectors and try and focus really heavily on doing proper planning to avoid geohazards creating unsafe living conditions to maximize efficient use of water, and also to maximize renewable energy in all future developments of Vanuatu, which in my view all come back to good planning.”

Minister of Climate Change, Ham Lini, says the signing ceremony is timely for Vanuatu as it is one of four countries of the Pacific that have signed the partnership with GGGI.

Director General of GGGI Frank Rijsberman says even though GGGI is still less than five years old, it has grown to 27 countries round the world.

“The 27 member countries are quite strongly convinced that the economy has to move to a more sustainable path.

“We have to deal with climate change both with adaptation and mitigation.

“And indeed that is key to a have a more sustainable and a more inclusive economy,” he says.

The DG says they work with many countries similar to Vanuatu with similar energy challenges and their Governments also take similar plans as that of Vanuatu.

This is the first time for the DG of GGGI to come to the Pacific. Before that he concentrated in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean.

He is confident Vanuatu will follow through with its visions and he looks forward to using his Vanuatu experiences when he travels to international events.

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