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Cook Islands gets a seat on climate change’s Adaptation Fund Board

Friday 24 March 2023 | Written by Supplied | Published in Economy, National

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Cook Islands gets a seat on climate change’s Adaptation Fund Board
Mani Mate is the director of the Development Coordination Division within the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management. MFEM/23032308

The Cook Islands are leading the way forward in building resilient communities with the nomination of Mani Mate to the Adaptation Fund (AF) Board by the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS).

The country recommended his nomination at the 2021 climate negotiations, a statement from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management said.

It says Mani’s approval as the alternate board member representing Small Island Developing States (SIDS) shows the advancing steps the Cook Islands are making in the climate change space.

It also indicates and helps outline the priorities, opportunities and resources directed to projects to be efficient towards the development interests of the SIDS countries, the statement adds.

Mate currently serves as director of the Development Coordination Division within the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management as the direct access entity to the Adaptation Fund.

He will serve a term of two calendar years, taking over this position from Angelique Pouponneau of the Seychelles.

“Mani is knowledgeable in the Adaptation Fund processes and procedures, having worked as the national implementing manager to successfully implement the Adaptation Fund funded Pa Enua Action for Resilient Livelihoods (PEARL) project,” the statement said.

“Correspondingly, Mate served as Cook Islands campus branch president for the University of the South Pacific Cook Islands Students Association (USPCISA) in 2020. His decisive and influential approach saw a unanimous decision at the University of the South Pacific Students Association (USPSA) council meeting in July 2021 to elect him as the president of the USPSA Federal and Chair of the Student Council.”

Mate grew up on the island of Mangaia before moving to Aitutaki where he worked in hospitality for many years. Alongside his strong background in hospitality and the flexibility to work with several government agencies, he understands the country's experiences in relation to the Adaptation Fund proposal developments.

The Adaptation Fund finances projects and programmes help vulnerable communities in developing countries adapt to climate change.

“Helping the most vulnerable countries and communities is an increasing challenge and imperative for the international community, especially because climate adaptation requires significant resources beyond what is already needed to achieve international development objectives.”

Two date the Adaptation Fund has awarded US$8.3 million ($13.3m) to support two adaptation projects in the Cook Islands;

The 40th meeting of the Adaptation Fund Board is underway in Bonn, Germany.