Leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum warmly welcome the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, to our Blue Pacific region - to witness the everyday reality of climate change and drive momentum in the lead up to his Climate Action Summit in September.
As we approach the 25th iteration of the Conference of the Parties, it is difficult to find new words, new anecdotes, new experiences to press our Blue Pacific message - but our commitment to multilateralism is unwavering, as is our commitment to continue the fight for a safer climate for a safer world.
At the Climate Action Summit, platitudes and repackaged commitments cannot be the substance of our deliberations. We need transformational change at scale, and courageous leaders prepared to deliver on it.
Leaders of the Pacific commit to doing all we can to make the Climate Action Summit a global turning point for ambitious climate change action.
We ask the United Nations Secretary-General to share our message with the world:
The Blue Pacific – our great ocean continent, our thousands of islands, our strong and resilient people – is running out of time.
We need to act now. Our survival, and that of this great Blue Pacific continent depend on it.
The Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) and the Office of the Pacific Ocean Commissioner (OPOC) – in partnership with Conservation Strategy Fund, the Conservation Finance Alliance and the Wildlife Conservation Society – are pleased to invite applications for the Pacific Ocean Finance Fellowship Program. This fellowship program is part of the Pacific Ocean Finance Program (POFP), which is Component 3 of the Pacific Regional Oceanscape Program (PROP) – funded by the World Bank and the Global Environment Facility – and implemented through FFA and OPOC. The aim of the Pacific Ocean Finance Program is to improve the amount and efficacy of finance for Pacific Ocean governance.
The objectives of the Pacific Ocean Finance Fellowship Program are to 1) increase individual capacity of Pacific Islanders by providing professional development training in ocean finance and governance, and 2) advance finance initiatives promoting ocean governance and health both within institutions and across sectors in the Pacific Islands region through a program of mentored projects in fellows’ home countries.
The Pacific Islands States who believe that the Ocean plays an integral part in the climate system say that the Blue Pacific Continent they have stewardship of cannot afford the risks of exceeding 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
These sentiments have been shared time and again by Pacific Islands representatives at COP 24 and those who have presented in a myriad of side events at the Pacific and Koronivia Pavilion in Katowice, Poland.
Samoa Prime Minister Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi said “The recent IPCC 1.5 degrees Special Report shows that a 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming is not just a limit for Small Islands Developing States, but it is a limit for everyone.”
"From extreme weather events to sea level rise, from slowed economic growth to biodiversity loss, the report speaks to the risks of exceeding 1.5 degrees Celsius. For our Blue Pacific continent, it is a risk we cannot afford," he emphasized.
By Honourable Henry Puna, Prime Minster of the Cook Islands - A key priority for my fellow Pacific Leaders and negotiators currently attending the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24), is accessing climate finance, across all finance mechanisms of the UNFCCC and Paris Agreement.
The Cook Islands is a country comprising of 15 islands in the heart of the South Pacific. Under a variety of potential climate change scenarios, each one of these islands are at great risk due to sea level rise, extreme rainfall events, storm surges, strong winds or extreme high air temperatures. This disturbing reality is shared by most of the ten million Pacific islanders who inhabit the oceanic continent we call the Blue Pacific.
As our people work to adapt their communities to deal with the effects of a changing climate, our countries must again call for the scaling up of climate related financing. Our small economies simply cannot afford these efforts on their own. We seek committed and reliable partners who can help us continue with our mitigation strategies and our adaptation needs.
In 2014, Forum Leaders endorsed a Pacific Vision that supported and promoted peace, harmony, security, social inclusion, and prosperity, so that all Pacific people can lead free and healthy lives. The Framework for Pacific Regionalism represents the Forum Leaders’ political commitment to regionalism as a means to achieving this vision. Four principle objectives underpin this commitment: sustainable development, economic growth, strengthened governance systems and institutions, and security for all.
In 2017, Forum Leaders endorsed The Blue Pacific as the core driver of collective action for advancing the Leaders’ Pacific Vision. This narrative reaffirms the shared ownership of the Pacific Ocean and the connection of all Pacific peoples with their natural resources, environment and livelihoods and aims to harness their shared ocean identity, geography and resources to drive positive socio-cultural, political and economic development.