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Climate Change Roundtable Hears of More Woes For Pacific

Climate Change Roundtable Hears of More Woes For Pacific

By Asenati Taugasolo Semu, Press Secretariat of the Government of Samoa:

3 July 2013, Nadi, Fiji - The Pacific can expect the impacts of climate change to worsen over the coming years, said the Director of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme, David Sheppard at the opening of the 4th Pacific Change Roundtable in Nadi, Fiji.

According to Sheppard the information conveyed by the Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Professor Rajendra Pachauri, estimated that continue emissions could lead to an increase of 4 degrees in temperature and continual sea level rise at the end of the century.

The IPCC is the leading international body for the assessment of climate change.  It was established by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) in 1988, to provide the world with a clear view on the current state of knowledge in climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic impacts.

“This is bad news for our Pacific region - the most vulnerable on earth to the impacts of climate change,” he told the PCCR.

SPREP’s Director General also encouraged the Pacific to stand together to address the challenges of climate change and natural disasters reiterating the natural disasters that affected some Pacific countries lately.

“Natural disasters such as Cyclone Evan which battered Samoa and Fiji late last year and the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Solomon Islands earlier this year remind us again of the power of nature and the vulnerability of Pacific nations both to climate change and to natural disasters,” he said.

“The world is watching and our series of meetings sends a clear message that we must integrate our responses if we are to effectively address the challenges of climate change and natural disasters in this century.

“In our region our leaders have continually reminded us of the urgency of climate change and that it is in fact an issue of national security.“

Sheppard also acknowledged the support of donors and partners who continue to increase their assistance for the region on tackling the effects of climate change.

“This support is most welcome and is acknowledged with appreciation.  It is vitally important that donor efforts be coordinated and that they clearly and sharply address the priorities of Pacific countries. “

The Keynote Address was delivered by Fiji’s Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Co-operation, Amena Yauvoli, and wishing participants a happy stay in Fiji.

“Your participation is very important and critical as it is known. Equally crucial is the support of development partners,” he said.

Yauvoli added that Climate Change is an added burden on top of the challenges that Pacific Island countries face, in order to achieve sustainable development.

Fiji is chairing the PCCR this week succeeding the former Chair, Richard Hipa from Niue.

The Pacific Climate Change Roundtable biennial meeting was first held in Samoa in 2007, Marshall Islands in 2009 and Niue in 2011.


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