Pacific/UK  talks on ocean and climate change action

Climate action and oceans realities in the Pacific Islands are the focus of the virtual tour by the United Kingdom’s Minister for Pacific and the Environment, Lord Zak Goldsmith.

Mr Goldsmith held a virtual regional roundtable discussion with the four largest regional organisations serving the Pacific namely; the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS), the Pacific Community (SPC), the Secretariat for the Pacific Regional Environment Program (SPREP), and the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA).

Lord Goldsmith assured the Pacific Islands that the UK will put nature at the heart of the climate change discussion.

He also has met with governments of Fiji, Kiribati, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.  

“For COP26 to be successful, it needs to be truly inclusive.  The UK wants to ensure Large Ocean States have a platform, and the opportunity to shape the agenda.  We want to make sure COP26 delivers important change, to finalise the Paris Agreement, to ramp up ambition and put that into action to limit global temperature rises”.

Meanwhile, SPREP Director General, Kosi Latu, extended the focus on climate priorities to ensure full implementation of the Paris Agreement, to go in line with the December 2020 deadline.

“The urgent need for climate action is heightened as COVID-19 increases our vulnerability.   Momentum must continue – for us as a Pacific people, living on the frontlines of climate change, this is about our survival,” said Mr Kosi Latu, Director General of SPREP.  “We are encouraged by the inclusive approach of the UK, as the COP26 Presidency, it allows our collective Pacific voice to be brought to the fore.”

Director-General of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency Dr Manu Tupou Roosen said oceanic fisheries priorities and issues that are of critical importance for Pacific nations from both an economic and a sustainability perspective.

“It’s important that Pacific nations, as custodians of the resources within our sovereign maritime domain, build strong relationships with global allies and champions.”

Lord Goldsmith described his virtual Pacific tour as “fantastic ambition and leadership on climate change”.

by Charley Piringi

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