Delivered by Deputy Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum, Dr Filimon Manoni
at the Pacific Peer to Peer Learning for the Private Sector on Climate Finance and Resilience
01 June, 2023, Suva, Fiji.
Distinguished private sector participants.
Senior government officials from Fiji.
Distinguished members of the private sector.
Our partners from outside and within the region.
Ladies and Gentlemen.
Good afternoon and on behalf of Secretary General Henry Puna along with our co-host the Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation and the Fiji Business Disaster Resilience Council, a very warm welcome to your Forum Secretariat.
I understand this is the very first Pacific Peer-to-Peer Learning for the Private Sector on Climate Change and Resilience, so my congratulations to all for the successful conclusion of this event. It is encouraging to note the participation from across the Pacific region with representation from the national private sector organisations in nine (9) countries as well as our partners active in this area.
At the regional level, our Leaders endorsed the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent – our collective blueprint to advance Pacific regionalism for the next three decades. It articulates the region’s long-term vision for what we want the Pacific to be like in 2050 acknowledging the multitude of threats and risks we face as a region inclusive of climate change and disaster.
And our Leaders have continually emphasised the strength in the collective and have put in place a strong foundation for our collective actions through the Framework for Pacific Regionalism with the Framework for Resilient Development in the Pacific and its complementary Pacific Resilience Partnership embedding a multi-sector and multi-stakeholder approach to climate change and disaster risk reduction inclusive of the private sector.
This event responds to Leaders intent in this context and more directly to the Forum Economic Ministers Meeting decision to facilitate sharing and learning among the private sector across the region.
But in acknowledging the key role that the private sector plays in building the resilience of communities in the Pacific, access to climate finance where the potential for larger scale investment opportunities can be unlocked remains an issue.
Furthermore, I would like to take this opportunity to convey our appreciation to FCEF and FBDRC and the Fiji private sector businesses who willingly shared the approaches they have taken to ensure sustainable and resilient business operations particularly coming off the back of COVID-19 impacts.
I hope our participants were able to take some key lessons from the stories shared and where appropriate contextualise to your own country setting. At the same time, I also hope that our colleagues in Fiji were able to learn from their counterparts from around the region.
In closing, allow me to extend our sincere gratitude to the European Union through the Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change and Resilience Building program commonly known as PACRES, without which, this Peer-to-Peer Learning Programme would not have been possible. I also acknowledge the valuable contribution of our partners such as the UN including the Connecting Business initiative (CBi). It is has been a real team effort by all.
I wish everyone a safe journey back home and look forward to receiving feedback on the outcomes of your learnings.
Thank you. Vinaka vakalevu.