PRESS RELEASE (104/10)
21st October 2010
The policy of the Pacific region on climate change is focused on the need to strengthen and improve the coping abilities of all Forum countries, in terms of the natural resilience of peoples and communities, of their social and economic organisations and governance, and to ensure sustainability.
In the keynote address at the opening of the Asian Development Bank and World Bank Regional Workshop on “Responding to Climate Change in the Pacific: Moving from Strategy to Action” held in Nadi, Fiji on 13 – 14 October, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Tuiloma Neroni Slade said: “Forum Leaders have set the Pacific Plan for the next three years on the basis of the vulnerability of Pacific communities.”
Mr Slade told the participants at the workshop that the involvement of solely environmental ministries and departments was not enough to confront the challenges of climate change.
“Climate change issues have moved firmly from an environmental sector onto the ultimate responsibility of political Leaders of all counties, and of central line agencies of economic planning and finance. These are developments which demand the engagement and response of economic, development and social sectors to play more involved roles in tackling climate change mitigation and adaptation at all levels. “
Forum Secretary General Mr Slade also highlighted the importance of regional architecture reflecting the need for increased engagement and coordination amongst CROP agencies in relation to climate change.
This is relevant following the inaugural meeting of CROP CEOs to discuss climate change and a timely opportunity for CROP agencies to demonstrate their combined commitment to work more closely together on climate change issues with particular focus on direction from Leaders around climate change financing issues.
“The regional architecture and focus are beginning to find alignment, and as the premier political and coordination organisation in the region, the Forum Secretariat is certainly focusing on how we can better respond to these challenges as a region with a diverse array of regional technical agencies and development partners,” said Mr Slade.
He also spoke of the importance of national governments to lead the response to climate change and that they receive support and constructive engagement by development partners.
“It is essential that the stakeholders charged with the responsibility to address climate change be clear, fully coordinated and effective in mobilising, coordinating and deploying climate change policy and real action in a sustainable and sensible manner. It is absolutely critical that they have effective access to climate change resources and their management and policy systems.”
Noting the number of efforts by development partners, including the multilateral banks, UN system and CROP agencies, in relation to supporting countries resilience to climate change, the Forum Secretariat Secretary Genera said:“We must bring these efforts together because the key to addressing all of these issues is through collaboration. There is no other way: not in the circumstances of this vast and diverse region and not for a problem of this magnitude. We need a common understanding of the challenges before us all and of the prospects and opportunities that are there for our collective and coordinated action."
Mr Slade commended the ADB and World Bank in organizing the two-day meeting attended by 14 representatives of the Asian Development Bank and senior representatives from international and regional agencies, development partners and non-government organisations.
For media enquiries contact Mr Su'a Kevin Thomsen, Director of Strategic Partnership and Coordination Programme at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat on phone 679 3312600 or email su’firstname.lastname@example.org.