The Pacific Islands Development Forum’s (PIDF), Climate Change Advisor, Dr Mahendra Kumar was awarded the 2016 Lead Reviewers Award for Team Spirit for Contribution to National Communications by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at a ceremony in Bonn, Germany on the 3rd of March, 2016.Mahend

“It indeed feels positive to be acknowledged for my contributions towards climate change enabling and advocacy activities,” said an elated Dr Kumar, who is currently attending a climate change conference in Germany.

Dr Kumar, who has been involved in climate change programs in the Pacific since 1998, was also influential in the PIDF’s Suva Declaration on Climate Change document and largely responsible for PIDF activities and advocacy efforts for climate change mitigation for our Pacific Islands, including Pacific SIDS support at the COP21 Conference in Paris.

PIDF, Secretary General, Mr François Martel congratulated Dr Kumar for his achievement and recognition in the international fora for his contribution towards climate change enabling activities.

“PIDF is indeed proud to have Dr Kumar lead our climate change activities and also congratulates him for his achievement as a scientific reviewer for the UNFCCC as per the award conveyed on him in Bonn, Germany,” said Mr Martel.

Mr Martel also said that PIDF with committed individuals such as Dr Kumar will continue its work diligently to address the issues of sustainable development through a structured and inclusive approach. “This is particularly critical in the aftermath of TC Winston, in building climate-induced disaster resilience and focus on a balanced integration of the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development through the green economy”.

Dr Kumar has done tremendous amount of work for climate change enabling activities, such as national communications and technology needs assessment for UNEP countries, and managed one of the largest global capacity-building projects on adaptation and Assessments of Impacts and Adaptations to Climate Change (AIACC) implemented by UNEP and the Global Environment Facility (GEF). He also assisted in the development of the new Australian Government climate change adaptation initiative (ICCAI) for the Pacific, Timor-Leste, and South Asia and was a member of the World Bank Pacific mission to discuss with stakeholders the synergies between disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. More recently, Dr. Kumar assisted the Governments of the Marshall Islands and of Tuvalu to finalize their Intended National Determined Contributions (INDCs) as part of the requirements for COP21 negotiations.