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Media Release

U.S. Regional Environmental Office Awards Grants in Fiji and FSM

August 12, 2011

The Regional Environment Officer at the U.S. Embassy Suva has awarded three grants to Pacific non-governmental organizations. Totaling nearly US$75,000 the grantees are Habitat for Humanity Fiji, The Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development (PACE-SD) of the University of the South Pacific (USP) based in Suva, and the Micronesia Conservation Trust in the Federated States of Micronesia.

The Micronesia Conservation Trust in the Federated States of Micronesia was awarded a grant for their project titled “Adapting to a Changing Climate Training Program”. This project will propagate the use of climate change adaptation tools at the community level within the Federated States of Micronesia in particular, and the North Pacific in general. The wide reach of this proposal also played an important role in the project’s selection.

Habitat for Humanity Fiji (HFHF) project titled “Every Drop Counts”, aims to provide lower income communities with sustainable access to safe, clean water systems. HFHF will use this funding to cover 69% of the cost of providing water systems for 3 to 5 lower income communities with a total population of 400-500 residents. PACE-SD, USP whose project titled “Climate variability and Change on Pacific Islands important food and economic crops “seeks to increase Pacific Islanders capacity to use a Decision Support System for Agro-Technology (DSSAT). In many places in the Pacific food production is heavily dependent on the seasonal rainfall. Using a crop simulation tool developed by the International Consortium for Agricultural System Application (ICASA) over three decades, and applied worldwide for a number of crops, PACE-SD will train and enhance the capacity of postgraduate and master students to use this tool. They will also undertake applied research activities to share their findings with communities and stakeholders. The potential for regional impact of this work for improved food security in the Pacific was an important factor in the award of the grant.

The “Small Grants Program” of the Regional Environmental Office for the Pacific located within the U.S. Embassy in Suva, Fiji has made 25 awards since 2006, distributing over USD$700,000 to non-governmental organizations engaged in environmental, scientific, technical, and health related activities throughout the Pacific.

The information for this media release was provided by U.S Department of State’s Regional Environment Officer for the Pacific, Dr. Norman Barth.