THE tiny atoll nation of Tuvalu is crying foul over how its position on climate change has been diluted in the proposed successor agreement to the Pacific Islands Framework on Climate Change (PIFACC).
PIFACC is nearing the end of its cycle and for the last 12 months member countries of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) have been negotiating PIFACC’s successor framework. A new name, the Strategy for Climate and Disaster Resilient Development or SRDP, has now been adopted.
Tuvalu’s concerns about what it sees as a changing focus from climate change issues to disaster risk management were expressed emphatically at last month’s biennial Pacific Climate Change Roundtable (PCCR), convened by SPREP in Apia, Samoa, for representatives of island government officials, donor agencies and foreign governments and regional organisations.
“It seems like we can’t talk about climate change anymore,” complained Dr Ian Fry, a climate change expert at the Australian National University and leading negotiator for the Tuvalu Government. “This disaster risk reduction strategy seems to be taking over our concerns for climate change.”
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by Samisoni Pareti
As Pacific Island countries and territories, we are each day aware of the vital importance of the ocean to our lives. Pacific Island cultures are built on ancient and intimate connections to the ocean - it is a key source of food, community livelihoods and national economies for Pacific island countries and territories.
Pacific Islanders have one of the highest per capita consumptions of seafood in the world. In the words of poet and author Epeli Hau’ ofa in “We Are the Ocean”: “We are the sea, we are the ocean, we must wake up to this ancient truth.”
After many years of poorly-managed exploitation, there has recently developed amongst the global community an increased awareness of the growing threats to marine ecosystems, through increasing sea surface temperatures, ocean acidification, over-fishing, pollution and their impacts on marine biodiversity, fisheries resources, food security, ecosystem services and ultimately human health.
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