TechInPacific – Last year, rough waves hit locals’ homes without warning. Throughout the year, the country was concerned with the risk of tropical cyclones that have hit neighboring countries.
Efforts were made earlier, such as the signed agreement between the government and the Red Cross to provide assistance, which ended in April 2022.
The Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) had already pushed for Mete to be appointed to the board of UN’s Adaptation Fund (AF) in 2021, as they saw the need for a representative with first-hand knowledge of the country’s challenges and a wealth of experience.
Mete, who currently serves as Director in the Development Coordination, one of the many divisions within the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management (MFEM) and a direct entity having access to AF, was previously involved as National Implementing Manager in the management of a project funded by AF, Pa Enua Action for Resilient Livelihoods (PEARL), where his knowledge of the processes and management of AF was solidified.
He is described as ‘decisive and influential’ and was promoted by the University of the South Pacific Students Association (USPSA) for the President of USPSA Federal and Chair of Student Council in July 2021, was previously the campus branch president in 2020.
He grew up in Mangaia, and moved to Aitutaki where he spent most of his years working in the hospitality sector.
He is hoped to be the voice of the Cook Islands as part of the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) membership to overcome the impending doom of the global climate crisis.
Mete’s responsibilities will include using available resources from his direct involvement on the board of AF to tackle climate change affecting the country, and have the projects aligned with the country’s interest toward future developments.
Two Cook Islands projects have already been funded by AF, for $3.8m, and Mete will serve the board for two-year calendar terms, taking over Angelique Pouponneau of the Seychelles’s role.
The AF board has been supporting developing countries to adapt to climate change. They state that climate adaptation requires significant resources beyond what is already needed to achieve international development objectives. The board will hold its 40th meeting at Bonn, Germany.