Malcolm Dalesa '12 (Vanuatu)

Malcolm Dalesa '12 (Vanuatu)

Alumnus in the spotlight: Malcolm Dalesa'12 (Vanuatu)

current position: Officer in the Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction Project Management Unit (PMU), Department for Meteorology and Geo-hazards, Vanuatu

After completion of the MESPOM program, I returned home to Vanuatu around mid 2012. I commenced on a new job towards the end of 2012 as a climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction officer with the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-hazards Department.

I have been working with the Department for just over 2 years now and certainly enjoying it. I am more specifically placed within the Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction Project Management Unit (PMU) of the Department. The PMU also acts as the secretariat of the National Advisory Board on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction (NAB). The NAB serves as a strategic body which provides overall guidance and coordination functions for all climate change and DRR initiatives within the country. This is where most of my work is focused, especially in enabling mainstreaming and technical backstopping of the climate change and DRR agenda to other sectors at all levels of governance. This also entails assisting the government in meeting its’ obligations relative to multilateral environment agreements such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Hyogo Framework.

I’m now currently involved in the development of our national climate change and DRR policy. I must say that working in such a dynamic arena is exciting since one is at the coal face of where both science and policy intersect across all elements of development. MESPOM has undoubtedly equipped me with the vital skills to critically comprehend issues and synthesize innovative solutions from either a scientific or policy perspective.

Courses such as climate change adaptation and carbon sequestration triggered an awakening and deepened my interest in the climate change field, particularly when I was coming more from a pollution control and environmental health background. Moreover when I went to the University of Manchester, I took up other electives such as urban development planning which helped facilitate my decision to research aspects of poor urban climate change adaptive capacities back in my home country of Vanuatu.

Undertaking such research further allowed me to acquire broad perspectives on current local climate change adaptation actions and map out the existing national climate change institutional arrangements. With valuable knowledge acquired in doing an expansive array of MESPOM courses in environmental policy and science, as well as delving deeper into research I was placed in good stead to make another thrilling leap in my career. MESPOM certainly opened new doors and expanded my limits.