Launch of Results-Oriented Adaptation Research (ROAR) initiative Adaptation Research Alliance.
Science and Innovation for Climate Adaptation
Forum Secretary General Henry Puna, Remarks at high level panel
November 9th, 2021 at COP26, Glasgow
• HE Ms Amanda Milling, Minister for Asia, of the United Kingdom
• HE Mr Keriako Tobiko, Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, of Kenya
• HE Mr Rodrigo Rodriguez Tornquist, Secretary of Climate Change, Sustainable Development and Innovation, of Argentina
• HE Ms Patricia Fuller, Ambassador, for Climate Change of Canada
• I thank you for the opportunity to be part of this discussion on finding innovative ways to ensure the effectiveness of adaptation actions.
• This is a very timely and very critical juncture for the Blue Pacific, and I love the acronym ROAR, may we continue to roar loud and long across all spaces. The truth is, Our Blue Pacific region is experiencing first-hand the impacts of the climate change crisis. indeed, climate change is an existential threat to our island homes with our very survival on the line.
• At the same time, and there is an irony here –our people have lived harmoniously and sustainably on the oceans and shores they have called home for centuries. Adapting to their environment is not new. What is new, is the havoc being wreaked by climate change. Cyclones are becoming more severe and frequent, devastating everything in their path. Not only that, sea levels are rising, directly threatening the security of our Blue Pacific Continent.
• Friends, we need urgent and ambitious action right now!
• We must rapidly cut global emissions and keep global warming to 1.5 degrees. We must also have urgent scaled up climate change finance at this COP 26, if we are to manage the existential impact we are already facing. Yet even if we achieve this, climate change impacts are here and will continue to impact us into the future. Currently, adaptation accounts for only five per cent of climate finance flows. This is clearly not enough. We must rather achieve a 50-50 balance for adaptation and mitigation.
• With adaptation now critical for the protection of our Blue Pacific, let me welcome the Results-Oriented Adaptation Research (ROAR) initiative. Science, technology and innovation are a must if we are to invest in the most effective adaptation measures, designed specifically for Pacific Island contexts. We must embed traditional knowledge into the process. Only then can we respond to the needs of those most at risk.
• In our Blue Pacific region, the ROAR initiative can build on and invest in existing approaches for adaptation science and innovation, including those led by our key Pacific technical organisations, the Pacific Community and the Pacific Regional Environment Program.
• As a region, we’re not sitting idly by. Our Leaders recognise that to lead is to act. They have pursued bold and innovative regional solutions to secure a safe and prosperous future for our Pacific peoples. Our innovative regional solutions are based on our unique context. At the same time they enable our people to manage the uncertainties that are part of the impacts of climate change. We are not only on the frontlines of climate change, but also at the forefront of climate solutions, that are beneficial to us.
• Our efforts in this regard are guided by the Framework for Resilient Development in the Pacific and its inclusive Pacific Resilience Partnership. This is an integrated approach to address climate change adaptation and disaster risk management.
• The Kainaki Lua Declaration, endorsed by Forum Leaders in 2018, stresses urgent climate change action now. It addresses the underlying causes of climate change and investing in regional adaptation and resilience building.
• Most recently, Forum Leaders have endorsed the landmark Declaration on Preserving Maritime Zones in the Face of Climate Change-related Sea Level Rise. Based on the spirit of the Convention of the Law of the Sea, the Declaration seeks to preserve our Blue Pacific home now, and into perpetuity.
• Looking to the future, Pacific Island Forum Members are developing the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific. The Strategy will be our collective regional vision and commitment to ensure the wellbeing and prosperity of our people. The strategy recognises climate change as a key driver of change requiring innovative approaches.
• Forum Leaders have also endorsed the establishment of the Pacific Resilience Facility for upfront investment in our resilience and preparedness. It is our financial instrument that will also mobilize resources towards Pacific-led science and technology for adaptation.
• In closing, let me emphasise the critical importance of adaptation science, knowledge and investment to prepare and protect our Blue Pacific. It is our home, and with your help, it must always remain so.
• I thank you again for this opportunity and look forward to seeing how this alliance progresses in the future. I thank you.–ENDS
CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY