Tackling climate change together

[Suva, FIJI] Pacific regional organisations continue to strengthen their commitment to tackling climate change together.

Members of the Council of Regional Organisations in the Pacific (CROP) recalled their statement on “Collaborating to Support Effective Responses to Climate Change” this week at a meeting of the CROP Executives Subcommittee on Climate Change (CES-CCC) held in Suva, Fiji.

The statement reaffirms each agency’s role in responding to climate change in the region and their collaborative efforts.

“Pacific Islands Forum Leaders developed the Pacific Plan as a framework for strengthening regional cooperation and integration,” explained the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Tuiloma Neroni Slade.

“CROP agencies constitute the Pacific regional architecture through which many of the Pacific Plan priorities are implemented, including climate change.”

Climate change is a key priority under the Pacific Plan and has featured prominently in the Forum Leaders’ annual communiqués and was reaffirmed last year by Forum Leaders as the single greatest threat to the livelihoods, security and well-being of the peoples of the Pacific.

“While each CROP agency has its own mandates as directed by respective members and councils, their roles and responsibilities are inter-linked and they all contribute to achieving the overarching goals of the Pacific Plan,” said Secretary General Slade.

Members of CROP include Fiji School of Medicine (FSMed), Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA), Pacific Islands Development Programme (PIDP), the Secretariat for the Pacific Community (SPC), the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS), the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO), The University of the South Pacific (USP), the Pacific Power Association (PPA) and the Pacific Aviation Safety Office (PASO).

The Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General is the permanent Chair of CROP and Co-Chair with the Director General of SPREP for the CES-CCC.

As outlined in the CROP Statement, overall coordination and monitoring of climate change activities in the region and coordinated engagement in the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) process is led by SPREP; political leadership and effective resourcing are issues generally led and coordinated by the Forum Secretariat; practical application of adaptation and mitigation activities across many key development sectors is led by SPC, and on some issues SPREP; and research and development and human resource development is lead by USP.

Other CROP agencies focus on particular sectors and are exploring the specific impacts of climate change on these sectors with the view towards mainstreaming these into their responses, e.g. FFA in pelagic fisheries, SPTO in tourism, PPA with utilities, and FSMed with health implications.

(Ends)