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Fiji calls for Pacific to be united at global level


• Fiji calls for Pacific to be united at global level
• 2013 Joint meeting of Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk and Climate Change Roundtable starts
• SPREP director congratulates and challenges participants in historic regional meeting
• More than a joint meeting
• UN Disaster Office commends Pacific initiative on disaster risk management and climate change
• Words of Samoan ambassador echoed at Pacific meeting

Fiji calls for Pacific to be united at global level
By Halitesh Datt, Fiji TV: http://fijitv.info/
You can view and access grabs at: http://www.climatepasifika.blogspot.com/2013/07/fiji-calls-for-pacific-to-be-united-at.html

8 July 2013, Nadi, Fiji - Fiji’s Acting Prime Minister, Aiyaz Sayed- Khaiyum says Pacific should continue to advocate against high degree of carbon emissions by developed nations.

Speaking at the Joint meeting of Pacific Platform For Disaster Risk Management and Pacific Climate Change Roundtable, Khaiyum urged the region to take a more holistic approach in getting heard at international level.

He said a more concerted effort is needed in lobbying for a reduction in carbon emissions by developed countries.

Insert - Fiji’s Acting Prime Minister-Aiyaz Sayed- Khaiyum

With countries like Tuvalu and Kiribati facing the brunt of climate change, Khaiyum says Fiji has taken a lead role in lobbying for a reduction in emission.

More so Fiji has also offered 6,000 acres of land to Kiribati for food security purposes.

Insert - Fiji’s Acting Prime Minister-Aiyaz Sayed- Khaiyum

Khaiyum says it’s not the time for Pacific or developed countries to be complacent, as climate change is already threatening the existence of some nations.

Insert - Fiji’s Acting Prime Minister-Aiyaz Sayed- Khaiyum

For three more days, these climate change experts will put in ideas on ways to do just that.

The Joint Meeting of the Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management and the Pacific Climate Change Roundtable is from 8 – 11 July and is jointly organised by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme. The meeting is hosted by the Government of Fiji.


2013 Joint meeting of Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk and Climate Change Roundtable starts
By Daniel Namosuaia, Solomon Star: http://www.solomonstarnews.com

8 July 2013, Nadi, Fiji - The 2013 Joint meeting of the Pacific Joint Platform for Disaster Risk Management and Pacific Climate Change Roundtable was opened by Fiji’s Acting Prime Minister Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum in Nadi, Fiji today.

In his opening remarks Khaiyum said the challenges Pacific Island Countries and Territories face with climate change and disaster related issues is real and needs urgent attention and action.

“This meeting is about the need of the Pacific for an integrated approach to deal with climate change and disaster related issues.

Mr. Khaiyum said the Pacific needs to prepare for these challenges with a collective response at the regional, national and community levels despite the limited resources available.

“In formulating an integrated disaster risk management plan I urge you all to bear in mind some of the important principles to address the challenges we all face as Pacific nations.
“… our resources are limited, and we need a holistic approach of problem solving, that is practical affordable and involves a close partnerships between governments, business community and civil society.

“We also need to strike the balance between the urgent need to mitigate against the effects of climate change and the economic capability of the small islands states,” Khaiyum said.
Adding that the Pacific is clearly not to be blamed for global warming but are the victims of the big carbon emitters who under natural justice should carry the burden and problems that they have created.

He said the question on integrated response is the challenge that the Pacific face because of the massive destruction, crumpling economies and retarding of Pacific economies now happening because of the impacts of climate change.

The Director General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme David Sheppard reiterated that though Pacific countries only contribute 0.03% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions, our countries are the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change and sea level rise.

“We are the first impacted and will be the first to go under,” Sheppard said.

He said Island countries are very vulnerable and have high levels of risk to both climate change and natural disasters.

“These issues make it critical that we combine our resources and expertise as responsible individual, institutional and corporate citizens of the Pacific islands region. The objectives of this meeting are not only very timely but also very crucial…we must integrate our responses if we are to effectively address the challenges of climate change and natural disasters in this century.”

Adding that actions are needed at all levels, from international to national.

Sheppard further stressed those International commitments on financing need to be met and delivered to countries now, and not just talked about.

“We must be forward looking. I urge all the presenters and those making interventions to heed this call, for us to not dwell too much on what we have done, well or otherwise, but to apply ourselves to discussing what needs to be doing to secure our future – as stated at Rio+20 –THE FUTURE WE ALL WANT.”

Meanwhile Director General of Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) Dr Jimmie Rodgers highlighted that the convening of the meeting is an achievement and a milestone for the Pacific.

Dr Rodgers encouraged all experts who will participate, to utilise their expertise to take the Pacific forward to ensure that their decisions will lead to a Pacific community resilient to disasters and the impacts of climate change.

He stressed that understanding risks is crucial in managing climate change impacts.

Dr Rodgers said the best way forward is to integrated resources to collectively help position the region to move forward and make decisions that help protect the future of pacific people.

The Joint Meeting of the Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management and the Pacific Climate Change Roundtable is from 8 – 11 July and is jointly organised by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme. The meeting is hosted by the Government of Fiji.

SPREP director congratulates and challenges participants in historic regional meeting
By Bill Jaynes, The Kaselehlie Press: http://www.kpress.info/

8 July 2013, Nadi, Fiji - SPREP’s Director General, David Sheppard addressed a large crowd of representatives from the Pacific Islands region this morning.

The joint meeting began with a traditional Fijian welcome ceremony.

It is the first meeting in the Pacific Region that has brought together the Disaster Risk Management fraternity and the climate change fraternity as well as the Pacific Meteorological Council as they move toward a Pacific framework on climate change that will be completed by the end of 2015.

Sheppard said that this meeting is also a historic first of its kind in the world.

“Although Pacific Countries only contribute .03% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, our countries are the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change and sea level rise,” he said.

“We are the first impacted and will be the first to go under.”

He said that during a conference in Japan last week Professor Pachauri, the Chairperson of the IPCC addressed the crowd and presented startling information. The IPCC is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which consists of 1000 scientists from all parts of the globe. Sheppard said that Professor Pachauri told the conference attendees that the best estimates of the IPCC are that continued emissions would lead to temperature increases between 1.8 and 4 degrees Celsius and sea level rise will continue and accelerate.

Pachauri noted the urgent need for action at all levels, particularly from the global community, to reduce climate change.

“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 said.

“He congratulated the people of the Pacific region for their willingness to work together. “It again demonstrates as we have many times in the past that the Pacific is a region that is not afraid to lead and innovate,” he said. “This approach reflects the Pacific Way—of working together, of being innovative in the face of challenges, and developing ‘Pacific Solutions to Pacific problems.”

“Clearly 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 natal disasters in this century.”

He listed three reasons why the Pacific should continue to integrate climate change adaptation actions with disaster risk management.

First, he said that while the current policy frameworks are separate Pacific leaders have directed that that an integrated approach should be applied at the regional level once the current frameworks expires in 2015.

Secondly, there is a great deal of experience and knowledge that must and can be shared through an integrated approach.

“As Ambassador Fetturi of Samoa once mentioned, ‘No one has a monopoly on new ideas’. The more was can get together, share experience, and develop synergies, the better the outcomes will be for the countries and territories of the Pacific,” Sheppard said.

“Third, a unified and effective strategy will support a stronger, more integrated and hopefully more effective case to be made by our Pacific representatives at international forums. This makes it imperative that we strengthen the links and conduits between those that represent us at the global level and those who work on the ground to implement climate and disaster related programs.”

“We must be forward looking. I urge all the presenters and those making interventions to heed this call, for us to not dwell too much on what we have done, well or otherwise, but apply ourselves to discussing what need to be done to secure our future—as stated at Rio+20 – The future we all want.”

The Joint Meeting of the Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management and the Pacific Climate Change Roundtable is from 8 – 11 July and is jointly organised by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme. The meeting is hosted by the Government of Fiji.


More than a joint meeting
By Ben Kedoga, NBC PNG


8 July 2013, Nadi, Fiji - The Pacific Island region once again showed its seriousness in addressing climate change and disasters.

Today, the 8th of July, 2013, marked the historical opening of the first Joint Meeting of the 2013 Platform For Disaster Risk Management and Pacific Climate Change Roundtable at the Sofitel Resort in Nadi, Fiji.

Climate change experts within the region and abroad say this is the first globally, for any region in the world to actually develop an integrated approach to deal with disaster risks and climate change challenges.

To those, who have contributed to the staging of this meeting, it is more than just the global first, the 2013 Platform for disaster risk management and Pacific climate change roundtable in fact, signifies the success of many years of hard work by Pacific island countries with support from big countries within the region, stakeholders and partners to reach such a milestone in climate change responses within the region.

This was further emphasised by the Director General of the Secretariat of the South Pacific Community, SPC, Jimmie Rodgers this morning at the official opening of the four day meeting.

“This first joint session of the Pacific Climate Change roundtable and the Pacific Disaster Risk Management Platform brings together experts from the many sectors to begin a journey that will ultimately result in the Pacific Islands region setting the pace for such action globally,” Rodgers said.

He said such opportunities for PICs to engage in dialogue and to collectively influence agenda for change does not come often, thus the 2013 Platform for Disaster Risk Management and Pacific Climate Change Roundtable has been seen as the opportune time to achieve this.

“The important thing is to bring our resources together with one common purpose and that is; what is the best way to integrate our approach to climate change and disaster risk management, so that collectively, from all parties we have one team that can position our region to move forward, we cannot miss this opportunity,” Rodgers added.

The Joint Meeting of the Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management and the Pacific Climate Change Roundtable is from 8 – 11 July and is jointly organised by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme. The meeting is hosted by the Government of Fiji.

UN Disaster Office commends Pacific initiative on disaster risk management and climate change
By Makereta Komai, PACNEWS: http://www.pina.com.fj/index.php?p=pacnews&m=pacnews

8 July, 2013 Nadi, Fiji - The head of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) has commended the Pacific initiative to develop a regional plan to integrate disaster risk management and climate change.

Margareta Wahlstrom said the proposed regional strategy sets a precedent for other regions of the world to follow.

“The development of an integrated Pacific Regional Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change into a single overarching policy framework by 2015 is an ambitious and necessary framework that will benefit millions of people and avert the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in economic losses.

In the Pacific, Samoa and Fiji recently suffered millions of dollars from Tropical Cyclone Evan that struck the two island nations in December last year.

“Samoa suffered in 29 percent loss to its GDP in 2012. Fiji suffered two grave floods with a total damage of FJ$200 million in a period of six months. The major losses to Fiji were for bridges, roads, agriculture and private homes, said Wahlstrom.

The head of the UN Disaster Office used her visit to Fiji to see first-hand some of the work disaster risk management work implanted by the Fijian Government.

‘”I have seen how Fiji is rapidly learning from the 2012 disaster and putting in place plans through an integrated rural development programme for mitigation of disaster losses through flooding.

“I was very impressed by this programme and its potential for addressing this important annual risk to Fiji’s population, said Wahlstrom.

Right now in Marshall Islands, Wahlstrom said, 6,700 people are in need of safe water due to drought and acute water shortage.

Outcomes of the regional integrated strategy, now called the ‘Roadmap’ will feed into regional position on global discussion on the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which both expire in 2015.

“2015 offers us, through our parallel but not well integrated processes to achieve a more unified direction for sustained and resilient development agenda that must be a shared agenda amongst all countries.

“The MDG 15 years agenda will come to a close in 2015 and there is work going on for the consideration of countries in a new development vision that may be expressed in sustainable development for all (SDGs) valid for all, explained Wahlstrom.

Sharing some findings from the 2013 Global Assessment Report on DRR recently launched by Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, the UNISDR head encouraged more collaboration in the Pacific between public and private sector in reducing risks and losses.

“How much the private sector feels the damage depends on government policies. However, as governments are unable to t pay for increasing damages and losses, its critical to engage businesses in preparedness and mitigation of losses, said Wahlstrom.

The Joint Meeting of the Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management and the Pacific Climate Change Roundtable is from 8 – 11 July and is jointly organised by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme. The meeting is hosted by the Government of Fiji.


Words of Samoan ambassador echoed at Pacific meeting
By Asenati Taugasolo Semu, Press Secretariat of the Government of Samoa: http://www.savalinews.com

8 July 2013, Nadi, Fiji - A phrase by Samoa’s Ambassador to the United Nation, Afioga Aliioaiga Feturi Elisaia was quoted at a major Pacific climate and disaster meeting in Nadi.

The phrase, “No one has a monopoly on new ideas”, was quoted by the Director General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environmental Programme, David Sheppard in his opening statement at the Joint Meeting of the 2013 Pacific Platform for Disaster Management & Pacific Climate Change Roundtable which officially opened this morning.

Sheppard in his speech emphasised the importance of sharing experiences and knowledge through an integrated approach.

“As Ambassador Feturi of Samoa once mentioned, "No-one has a monopoly on new ideas" - the more we can get together, share experience, develop synergies, the better the outcomes will be for the countries and territories of the Pacific.

The Pacific Islands region is said to be creating history by being the first region in the world to unite to develop and integrated approach to address climate change and disaster risk challenges through an integrated regional framework to replace the current Pacific Islands Framework for Adaptation (PIFACC) and the Regional Disaster Risk Management Framework for Action by 2015.

An agreement between the two parties and the regional intergovernmental mechanisms was initiated in 2011, in their joint effort to reduce the vulnerability of communities to hazards by improving the ability to better anticipate, resist, prepare for, respond to and recover from their impacts.

This week, over 400 participants from across the region that include political leaders, civil society, private sector, government representatives, donors, development partners and the scientific community are deliberating in discussions, events and presentations while formulating the initial process of this important roadmap.

Also here to observe and share experiences are representatives of the Samoa Tourism Authority, who will be observing this week’s events and dialogue.

“We are here to observe the initiatives in disaster risk management and climate change at the regional level to help Samoa’s tourism sector with its efforts and projects, given the vulnerability of the tourism sector,” said Tourism Climate Change Project Coordinator, Amiaifolau Afamasaga Luatua.’

“It is a good opportunity to learn of how the Pacific is positioning itself in an integrated manner in preparing for disasters and associated impacts of climate change, to contribute to development plans of Samoa Tourism in the next five years.

“This is also a golden opportunity to help Samoa Tourism and Tourism Climate Change Taskforce and the wider tourism sector in implementing its climate change projects and most importantly it’s National Tourism Climate Change Adaptation Strategy.”

Luatua, who is here with the STA Manager of Planning and Development, Christina Leala-Gale said Samoa can also anticipate opportunities for the Small Islands Development States conference due in Samoa next year.

Representing Samoa at the Meeting is CEO for Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Taulealeausumai Laavasa Malua, ACEO, Filomena Nelson.

The Joint Meeting of the Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management and the Pacific Climate Change Roundtable is from 8 – 11 July and is jointly organised by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme. The meeting is hosted by the Government of Fiji.


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