The 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent

The 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent will develop a long-term vision for our region and outline the steps to achieve this vision. It is a regional strategy to protect and secure our Pacific people, place and prospects. Download the flyer

Pacific Leaders recognize that building a strong and resilient Pacific needs careful planning. It must ensure social, cultural, environmental and economic integrity. Together we will develop the 2050 Strategy, and we will work together as one Blue Pacific Continent to deliver on it.

2050: Strategic Imperatives

The 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent represents the ongoing commitment of the region to work together as one. Building on its shared stewardship of the Pacific Ocean, the region must recognise the connections that the people of this Blue Pacific have with their natural resources, environment, cultures and livelihoods. This requires that we organise ourselves as one collective if we are to address our increasingly common challenges.

The 2050 Strategy represents a unique opportunity for the region to develop long-term approaches to critical challenges such as climate change, sustainable development and security. It also represents the opportunity to consider how we might best leverage our solidarity, our strength and areas of opportunity, as one region. The uncertainty of COVID-19 only reinforces the need for a long-term strategy for how we work together as one Blue Pacific.

Developing the 2050 Strategy

Work on the 2050 Strategy is led by the Forum Officials Sub-Committee on the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent. This is chaired by Fiji and Vanuatu, with the inclusion of CROP agencies as observers.

Steps in delivering the 2050 Strategy

  • Identify the drivers of change that will have the most significant impacts on the future of the region and our people.
  • Collectively select the drivers that require joint political action and are best addressed at the regional level.
  • Identify which drivers require concerted collective action (such as regional harmonisation or economic integration). These actions are the regional goods.
  • Develop themes and levels of ambition for each theme, based around the drivers and goods.
  • Build strategies to guide how we would achieve each ambition.
  • Draft and finalise the 2050 Strategy (expected completion in 2021).

Which step are we up to now?

Drivers of Change

The current focus is identifying ‘drivers of change’, which will impact the future of the region. Drivers of change are events, actions and decisions that have the potential to generate significant disruption.

National consultations have been conducted across Forum Member countries, including with government, non-state actors, and youth. In addition, a regional stream of consultation was conducted including CROP agencies, sub-regional groups, civil society organisations, private sector organisations, law enforcement agencies, and the FOC Specialist Sub-Committee on Regionalism (SSCR).

A total of 1102 drivers of change were received. A robust process has consolidated these drivers to a provisional list of 20.

While this information is still being analysed many of the region’s key priority areas, including climate change, oceans, governance, fisheries, education and economic development have been raised repeatedly by Members through the consultation process. The 2050 Strategy sets out the short, medium and long term objectives for dealing with these key issues that are so vital to the region.

Next Steps

The next steps in the development of the Strategy include identifying areas of regional collective action, developing thematic areas to underpin the strategy, considering future scenarios and levels of ambition for the region, as well as drawing up sub-strategies to achieve our identified scenarios and ambitions.

We encourage all stakeholders to continue to engage with the development of the 2050 Strategy as it belongs to all of us in the Blue Pacific. Please contact the Forum Secretariat to see how you can participate in the process info@forumsec.org.

The regional context

The global and regional geopolitical and development context is shifting, and our Blue Pacific Continent faces enduring challenges. These include:

  • Ongoing vulnerabilities to environmental, climate change, disaster risk and economic shocks;
  • Continued dependencies on aid and external financing;
  • Low levels of economic growth;
  • Stubborn levels of poverty and rising inequalities;
  • Structural constraints, such as distance from markets, small productive base, high transport costs.

Interacting with these vulnerabilities and constraints is a changing global and regional context, including:

  • The COVID-19 global pandemic that has seen unprecedented border closures resulting in immediate and long-term health, economic and social challenges;
  • Emerging tendencies towards populism and nationalism;
  • Challenges to multilateralism, including willingness to withdraw from regional political groupings, withdrawal from multilateral trade agreements, and increased preferences for bilateral actions;
  • Rising inequalities causing social and political instability and undermining development;
  • Increased number of political actors and donors in the Pacific;
  • Challenges to the stability of the global rules-based order and competition between Pacific Rim major powers; and
  • Continued degradation of, and disputes over, natural resources.

However, global and regional developments are also raising new opportunities for the Pacific region to explore:

  • Increased political attention on the role of oceans in development;
  • Increased political attention on the climate change crisis facing Pacific island nations
  • Advances in technology that can enable the region to overcome limitations of distance;
  • A set of agreed values that underpin Pacific regionalism, including the cultural values that help guide the region;
  • New global frameworks and methodologies for valuing the immense ecosystems and biodiversity of the Pacific;
  • Shifts in the global power and globalisation; and
  • Significant increased investment by multilateral development institutions in the Pacific.

Further reading on the Blue Pacific:

  1. Opening address by Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailed Malielegaoi of Samoa to open the 48th Pacific Islands Forum 2017
  2. Remarks by Hon. Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi Prime Minister of the Independent State of Samoa at the High-Level Pacific Regional Side event by PIFS on Our Values and identity as stewards of the world’s largest oceanic continent, The Blue Pacific

Further Reading on Pacific Regionalism:

  1. Secretary General Dame Meg Taylor’s Remarks to 2017 Pacific Update
  2. Secretary General Dame Meg Taylor’s keynote speech to ACFID on Pacific Regionalism

METHODOLOGY: DEVELOPMENT OF THE 2050 STRATEGY FOR THE BLUE PACIFIC CONTINENT PHASE 1 PHASE 1
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