Last month our PEA Audit Director, Ms. Oceanbaby Penitito, attended the weeklong "Strategic Response to Climate Change for SAIs" workshop in Rovaniemi, Finland. Her participation on behalf of our Office was sponsored by the INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI) Global Foundations Unit (GFU).
Climate change stands as a priority issue in today's global discourse, demanding concerted efforts at international, national, and institutional levels. The workshop provided a platform for SAIs to delve into the intricate dynamics of climate change, exploring its global context, and understanding its implications on national and institutional mandates. Key areas of focus included the linkages between climate change and international interventions in environmental development, the effectiveness and volume of climate finance, impacts on national legislation and policies, accelerated vulnerabilities, and the crucial role of SAIs in assessing national climate action effectiveness.
The workshop was attended by 13 SAIs from around the world, with Ms. Penitito from our Samoa SAI and a representative from Tonga being the only two Pacific island nation representatives. The academic sessions aimed to enhance participants' understanding of the significance of SAIs' involvement in climate change responses. Through insightful discussions, attendees gained valuable insights into potential approaches, identified channels for collaboration with ongoing development programs and international partners, and recognized the need to bolster environmental audit capacities within their respective institutions.
The workshop was held parallel to the 22nd INTOSAI Working Group on Environmental Auditing (WGEA) Assembly hosted by Finland. Through research, capacity buildiing, and knowledge sharing, the Working Group supports SAIs in conducting effective audits that address environmental challenges and promote responsible resource management. The INTOSAI WGEA Assembly is a gathering of INTOSAI members to discuss and coordinate efforts in promoting environmental auditing practices worldwide. The 22nd Assembly's participants emphasized the global nature of environmental issues and highlighted the role of SAIs in addressing them holistically. They also stressed the importance of conducting long-term assessments and recognizing the value of indigenous knowledge. Finally, participants also underscored the significance of integrating environmental considerations into national budgets and highlighted the benefits of collaborative projects in enhancing SAIs' capacity for environmental auditing.
Ms. Oceanbaby Penitito's report reflected on the workshop's relevance to ongoing initiatives, particularly the Climate Change Adaptation and Action audit, currently underway with support from PASAI, WGEA, and IDI. Ms. Oceanbaby Penitito highlighted the importance of integrating indigenous knowledge into audit processes to ensure comprehensive assessments of environmental impacts and promote sustainable social and economic development.
The IDI is a global organization dedicated to strengthening SAIs worldwide. It operates under the umbrella of the INTOSAI. The IDI provides support, guidance, and training programs to SAIs, empowering them to perform their auditing functions effectively and efficiently. Through capacity building, knowledge sharing, and collaboration initiatives, the IDI plays an important role in enhancing transparency, accountability, and good governance across public sector entities globally.
The IDI's GFU is a specialized branch that serves as a key funding entity that supports various capacity-building initiatives for SAIs worldwide. Through strategic financial backing, the IDI GFU enables SAIs to enhance their audit capabilities, promote good governance practices, and contribute to effective public sector oversight.
We express our sincere appreciation to the IDI GFU for graciously sponsoring our participation in the workshop through our PEA Audit Director Oceanbaby Penitito. The insights gained are a pivotal resource for Office to refine our methodologies and integrate best practices, and enhance our capacity to produce quality impactful audits.