Developing the capacity of Kiribati's future leaders

Tarawa, October 22, 2018. Under an LDCF-funded project enhancing food security in the face of climate change, forty staff from across seven Kiribati Ministries have undertaken communications training in the capital, Tarawa.

The training – facilitated by regional specialists from the UN Development Programme (Ms Kate Jean Smith and Ms Merana Kitione) – is the first in a series aimed at developing a more strategic approach to reaching communities and conducting national and global advocacy under the food security project. Participants from the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), Ministry of Tourism (MICTTD), Ministry of Environment, Lands and Agricultural Development (MELAD), Ministry of Fisheries (MFMRD), Ministry of Commerce (MCIC), Ministry of Education (ME), and the MET office (OB) took part.

“This training was really necessary to raise the visibility of our work, better reach stakeholders and also to develop the capacity of our future leaders”, said Project Coordinator Tererei Abete-Reema. “Participants embraced the opportunity to learn and apply new skills.”

Over 1.5 days, the interactive agenda covered how to create a targeted communications strategy in consultation with stakeholders, while also gathering the input of participants for the LDCF project’s own strategy. Through theory and practical exercises, participants mapped target audiences, from fisherman and village elders through to donors and global online audiences. They also identified clear objectives and methods for reaching them, as well as how to better craft more effective key messages and monitor and evaluate.

Coinciding with the training, Kiribati last week celebrated World Food Day with an event highlighting the challenges but also the solutions to good nutrition and livelihoods.

Food security is a key national issue. With the pressures of a growing population, overfishing and marine pollution resources are stretched. Rising sea levels, shifting rainfall and ocean acidification driven by climate change are magnifying the challenges. Rural communities living on remote outer islands are particularly vulnerable.

“While we need to effectively persuade our people to change behaviour at the local level, we also need to influence our decision makers and show the world our challenges and successes in addressing environmental management and climate change,” said Tererei Abete-Reema.

Participants welcomed the training. “This training was extremely valuable because it was my first insight into strategic communications. It’s really relevant to the work of my office, especially in implementing a project we have for youths and communities”, said one participant attending from local government.

“As an Extension Fisheries Officer, I work closely with the outer islands – this training will help me improve my communication with them, to deliver important messages for them to take action,” said another participant from the Ministry of Fisheries (MFMRD).

With the input of the Ministries, the project will now finalise a communications strategy for the next two years to 2020. Further skills-building workshops will be rolled out in the coming months.

Contact for more information

Tererei Abete-Reema, Project Coordinator, Environment and Conservation Division, Ministry of Environment, Lands and Agricultural Development (MELAD) | Ph. 75128000/75128507 | E.

Additional Notes to Editors

About the project

Enhancing National Food Security in the Context of Global Climate Change’, also known as the 'LDCF I' project, is a multi-sectoral initiative led by the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Agricultural Development (MELAD) with technical support from the UN Development Programme and finance from the GEF Least Developed Countries Fund.

Focused on three pilot islands – Maiana, Nonouti, Abemama – the project works with a number of Ministries to achieve its goals. The project is set to run to 2020. Learn more at

About Kitibati's Environment and Conservation Division, MELAD

The Environment and Conservation Division (ECD) forms part of the Kiribati Government’s Ministry of Environment, Lands and Agricultural Development. Its mandate is to safeguard the natural environment upon which life depends and to protect human health.

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