Ministry of Climate Change Corporate Plan (2016 - 2018)

Honourable Minister Ham LINI VANUAROROA, MCCA

It is with pleasure that I hereby present the 2016 to 2018 Corporate Plan for the Ministry of Climate Change Adaptation (MCCA), Meteorology & Geo-Hazards, Energy, Environment and National Disaster Management Office.

As the first Minister for the new Ministry when it was created in late 2013, it is with considerable pleasure that I read our new Corporate Plan. As a young Ministry, we have come a long way but we still have so much to do to achieve our Mission and Vision to support Government planning priorities and strategies as defined by the recently approved National Sustainable Development Plan 2016 - 2030.

A Corporate Plan is like a Road Map guiding a traveller along difficult pathways towards a far away and unfamiliar destination. To guide our journey, this Plan provides clear objectives, activities, identifies funding needs, human resources and indicators to track and report both achievements and issues needing resolution.

I look forward to actively support and progress the strategies in the MCCA Corporate Plan.

Introduction by DG Jesse Benjamin, MCCA

The Ministry of Climate Change Adaptation (MCCA) Meteorology and Geo- Hazards, Energy Environment and the National Disasters Management is relatively new. The Council of Ministers (COM number 18/2013), strongly supported the re-alignment of Departments from other Ministries in a new organisation. An examination of the Departments comprising the Ministry makes the purpose of this strategic amalgamation clear – bringing together the key government of Vanuatu agencies with responsibilities for environmental, Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction issues.

This new Ministry has already established itself in the Pacific as “iconic.” We are the first Pacific nation to combine Government Departments in a coordinated manner to deal with the challenges of Climate Change. The world is watching what we do in regards to developing legislation, policy and procedures, funding facilities, partnership agreements with key donors and sectoral agencies as well as putting together an exciting team of Ni-Vanuatu professionals, building capacity for management, reporting and research.

Vanuatu’s National Sustainable Development Policy (2016 to 2030) clearly defines Policy Pillars with Goals and Objectives that have strongly guided this newly drafted Corporate Plan. Our newly approved “Climate Change & Disaster Risk Reduction Policy 2016 – 2030” sets targets for advocating and mainstreaming Climate Change and Disaster Risk reduction activities not merely across our Ministry’s Departments but in all sector partner agencies at regional, national, provincial level and of course, in our communities. The recent Sendai Framework has also assisted in defining planning objectives.

However, as a new Ministry, we face many challenges. This 2016 - 2018 MCCA Corporate Plan for the Ministry provides not merely a planning document but a practical guide to more fully articulate the purpose and role of our Ministry in multi-hazard planning and response.

“Planning is a bit like driving a car. You can look backwards through the rear view mirror to see what’s behind to guide your movements but that’s a very narrow view. It’s better to look through the broad windscreen in front of you to get a wider view of what’s ahead so as to respond to what you facing right now.” (Finau Limoli IFRC LL Learned Cyclone Pam Workshop 2015)

Corporate Planning is an effective management tool because it identifies opportunities to strengthen our responses not merely for cyclones but other catastrophic events to meet the current vision, mission and objectives of the Government and our Ministry but also looks through that broad windscreen to respond to future needs. Flexible planning strategies need to be developed to ensure that Ministry will be prepositioned to meet both organisational challenges and natural hazard responses.

I hardly need to remind you that Vanuatu is ranked as the country with the highest exposures to multiple hazards in the world. Almost 81% of the country’s landmass and 76% of its population are vulnerable to multiple hazards, many arising from Climate Change including:
o Volcanic eruptions
o Cyclones
o Earthquakes
o Tsunamis
o Storm surges (both cyclonic and non-cyclonic);
o Coastal and river flooding including flash flooding of small streams, and major flooding from larger rivers;
o Landslides and debris flow;
o Droughts, both short and long-term;
o Sea Level Rises.

The recent experience of the Category 5 Cyclone Pam gave our young Ministry the opportunity to test our responses and coordination. Cyclone Pam also clearly identified gaps in resourcing – human, infrastructure, equipment and financial – as well as organisational issues of policy and procedures, legislation and Departmental structures.

“We go through the present blindfold. Only later, when the blindfold is removed and we examine past experiences, do we realise what we’ve been through and better understand what we must do in the future.” (Milan Kundera)

This Corporate Plan will use those difficult lessons of past years to guide our vision of the new Ministry’s potential and purpose, as it moves forward over the next few years to a safer, more resilient future founded jointly on not only the latest technology and scientific research but also proudly on Vanuatu’s historical traditional coping strategies.

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