Agreement fosters climate change work

APIA, 05 NOVEMBER 2018 (SAMOA OBSERVER) – The International Labour Organisation (ILO) will be furthering its relationship with Samoa by providing technical help and training with careers in climate change.

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed last week between ILO and the Ministries of commerce, immigration and labour (MCIL), and natural resources and environment (MNRE).

The MOU solidified that the three parties would work closely together on health and safety and the development of “green jobs” across Samoa, through the continued work on the Vaisigano River catchment.

Work to reduce runoff during extreme weather events has been ongoing, and ILO will provide occupational health and safety training and create pathways to medium and long-term jobs within the environment sector.

ILO Director for the Pacific region, Donglin Li signed the MOU alongside Chief Executive Officer of MCIL, Pulotu Lyndon Chu Ling and acting Chief Executive Officer for MNRE, Toleafoa Fetoloai Yandall-Alama.

ILO will also work to help Samoa in a just transition towards an environmentally sustainable economy, help design and implement emergency employment programmes, and promote disaster risk reduction through contingency planning.

Li said the decent work agenda stands behind much of the ILO’s work.

“ILO is always supporting SIDS countries to implement the Pathway through promoting the decent work agenda,” he said.

The organisation has been partnering with SIDS to develop decent work programmes for each country, Li explained.

“You have to also consider local context, consider the local economic development, the national priorities of the country,” he said.

Samoa was the first country to sign a decent work country programme with ILO in the Pacific sub-region.

They signed the programme last year, and Li said it is already helping change the labour market, through the four priorities that were identified.

Among them was the need to recruit locally and provide training, rather than import overseas contractors to do work locals could do instead.

“Don’t bring an overseas labour force, you know?” he said.

“Some complain that oh, they don’t have the skills in the local community. But that’s why ILO will push to train the local people to have such skills.”

When it comes to physical infrastructure, Li said their lifespan of 10 to 20 years means it’s not sustainable to have international labourers come to maintain them.

“That’s why you need the local labour force to have the skills to maintain this infrastructure, and to create job opportunities for locals, not for overseas [workers].” ….PACNEWS

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