In the Pacific we aspire to endurance and sustainability. But progress is difficult to sustain when we face multiple threats that reverse decades of development gains in a matter of hours or days.
The COVID-19 pandemic threatens the integrity and prosperity of our Blue Pacific peoples, our communities and our economies. I respect and admire the leadership demonstrated by Members of the Pacific Islands Forum and the global community in their responses to this evolving crisis. Many Forum and other countries have put in place unprecedented measures to protect the health and livelihoods of their people, including major economic stimulus packages.
Leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum warmly welcome the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, to our Blue Pacific region - to witness the everyday reality of climate change and drive momentum in the lead up to his Climate Action Summit in September.
As we approach the 25th iteration of the Conference of the Parties, it is difficult to find new words, new anecdotes, new experiences to press our Blue Pacific message - but our commitment to multilateralism is unwavering, as is our commitment to continue the fight for a safer climate for a safer world.
At the Climate Action Summit, platitudes and repackaged commitments cannot be the substance of our deliberations. We need transformational change at scale, and courageous leaders prepared to deliver on it.
Leaders of the Pacific commit to doing all we can to make the Climate Action Summit a global turning point for ambitious climate change action.
We ask the United Nations Secretary-General to share our message with the world:
The Blue Pacific – our great ocean continent, our thousands of islands, our strong and resilient people – is running out of time.
We need to act now. Our survival, and that of this great Blue Pacific continent depend on it.
The Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) and the Office of the Pacific Ocean Commissioner (OPOC) – in partnership with Conservation Strategy Fund, the Conservation Finance Alliance and the Wildlife Conservation Society – are pleased to invite applications for the Pacific Ocean Finance Fellowship Program. This fellowship program is part of the Pacific Ocean Finance Program (POFP), which is Component 3 of the Pacific Regional Oceanscape Program (PROP) – funded by the World Bank and the Global Environment Facility – and implemented through FFA and OPOC. The aim of the Pacific Ocean Finance Program is to improve the amount and efficacy of finance for Pacific Ocean governance.
The objectives of the Pacific Ocean Finance Fellowship Program are to 1) increase individual capacity of Pacific Islanders by providing professional development training in ocean finance and governance, and 2) advance finance initiatives promoting ocean governance and health both within institutions and across sectors in the Pacific Islands region through a program of mentored projects in fellows’ home countries.
The Pacific Islands States who believe that the Ocean plays an integral part in the climate system say that the Blue Pacific Continent they have stewardship of cannot afford the risks of exceeding 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
These sentiments have been shared time and again by Pacific Islands representatives at COP 24 and those who have presented in a myriad of side events at the Pacific and Koronivia Pavilion in Katowice, Poland.
Samoa Prime Minister Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi said “The recent IPCC 1.5 degrees Special Report shows that a 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming is not just a limit for Small Islands Developing States, but it is a limit for everyone.”
"From extreme weather events to sea level rise, from slowed economic growth to biodiversity loss, the report speaks to the risks of exceeding 1.5 degrees Celsius. For our Blue Pacific continent, it is a risk we cannot afford," he emphasized.