United in their common concern over the threat and impacts of Climate Change, Forum Leaders have maintained Climate Change discussions high on their agenda over the past few years.
In 2009, Leaders articulated their concerns in a Call to Action declaration which stated that …”For Pacific Island states, climate change is the great challenge of our time. It threatens not only our livelihoods and living standards, but the very viability of some of our communities. Though the role of Pacific Island States in the causes of climate change is small, the impact on them is great. Many Pacific people face new challenges in access to water. The security of our communities and the health of populations is placed in greater jeopardy. And some habitats and island states face obliteration.”
As a result of Climate Change being a central part of the Leaders agenda, the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat continues to engage and monitor the regions efforts to combat Climate Change and its impacts on our member states. This work has largely involved advocacy of the regions needs for increased support from the international community to assist the small island developing states in their efforts to overcome the challenges posed by Climate Change. This involves both mitigation and adaptation efforts.
In its capacity to coordinate development assistance in the region, the Forum Secretariat is exploring ways of increasing the effectiveness of donor assistance to member countries, including in the area of Climate Change given it is so cross cutting in nature. This involves continuous engagement in the Development Partners Climate Change partnership as well as being an active member in the Pacific Climate Change Round Table. The Forum Secretariat has also recently secured 6.8billion yen from Japan to assist member countries with their efforts on Climate Change. This is likely to become available to members in the first quarter of 2010.