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SI harnessing scientific and technical data for risk-informed decision-making

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Representatives from MECDM and UNDP at an LoA Signing Ceremony (Photo: UNDP)
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24 May 2022 (Honiara, Solomon Islands) – The Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology (MECDM) has reaffirmed its commitment to harnessing data to take risk-informed decisions and supporting a whole-of-government approach to enhancing community resilience at a signing ceremony of a Letter of Agreement (LoA) with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) at the MECDM Headquarters in Honiara.

In the signing ceremony today, organized by MECDM and UNDP through the Governance for Resilient Development in the Pacific (Gov4Res) project, representatives from MECDM and UNDP acknowledged the critical role that the Ministry plays in providing scientific and technical data. This data is critical to risk inform development plans and actions being undertaken by all sector ministries as well as central agencies such as Finance and Planning. MECDM also acknowledges their role in supporting coordination and partnerships across and between ministries to achieve the resilience ambitions laid out in the Solomon Islands Government’s National Development Strategy (NDS) 2016-2035.

Speaking during the opening remarks, Dr. Melchior Mataki, Permanent Secretary, MECDM said, “Couching resilience within development and ensuring that decision products are culturally relevant for decision-makers at various level is very important and MECDM plays a key role in providing contextually relevant data and evidence to ensure sector and subnational as well as national planning is appropriately risk-informed.”

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He further added that, “With support from the Gov4Res project, we are supporting risk-informed Development in the agenda of key ministries through visual products such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) maps and graphs. This will allow data to be applied to development and disaster and recovery planning and will ensure climate, environment and disaster risk will be routinely considered by policy makers, decision-makers, planners and land-users.”

Berdi Berdiyev, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative and Country Manager for the Solomon Islands Sub-Office stressed, “We would like to reiterate our commitment to the Solomon Islands Government under this partnership with MECDM, including other ongoing UNDP initiatives with the Ministry and will continue to partner with the Government and partners to achieve the resilience ambitions outlined in the NDS 2016-2035”.

Through this partnership, MECDM in close collaboration with UNDP through the Gov4Res Project will pursue the flowing strategic areas:

  1. Provision of data and risk information, specifically related to climate change and disaster risks, which will support central agencies including the Ministry of Finance and Treasury (MoFT) and the Ministry of National Planning and Development Coordination (MNPDC) leading the Solomon Island Government’s resilience agenda;
  2. Supporting integrated vulnerability assessments which incorporate gender disaggregated data that provides the basis for risk-informed and inclusive development planning;
  3. Supporting and providing spatial analysis and general mapping needs to MECDM, sector ministries and other stakeholders;
  4. Preparing and sharing GIS products that can inform decision-making and planning, ensuring this is risk-informed; and
  5. Supporting and maintaining GIS data and national data portals so this information is accessible and usable for resilience planning purposes

This partnership will also ensure that communities in Solomon Islands are more resilient, which will help improve social and economic livelihoods.

Background of the Gov4Res Project

The Gov4Res Project is working together with Pacific Island governments to ensure that countries adapt their decision making and governance systems towards more risk-informed development. The Project, implemented by the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji is partnering with a range of partners including the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), the New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).

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