The Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS) are joining the wave of support towards advancing a sustainable blue economy with special focus on the health of the marine environment and ocean.
For the PSIDS, climate change is the single greatest factor that is undermining the Pacific’s sustainable development.
While delivering his national statement on behalf of PSIDS at the High-Level Segment of the COP 25 in Madrid, Spain yesterday, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said every nation in the world should recognise that the ocean is vital, and PSIDS supports the proposal to better reflect this reality within the UNFCCC.
“As nations on the front lines of devastating cyclones and catastrophic sea-level rise, PSIDS are a bloc of States united by a shared resolve to tackle the climate crisis with boldness and with ambition,” he said.
“The negotiations on market mechanisms must deliver robust rules and regulations that ensure environmental integrity, prevent double-counting, promote overall mitigation of global emissions, and provide an avenue for more reliable resources to be used for rapid adaptation.
“The Pacific is concerned that humanity is on the cusp of a terrifying scenario- the abandonment of science.
“The world must adjust course to avert catastrophe. For the survival of PSIDS, and for the world, we must set a stage not of ignorance and denial but of ambition for COP26 and beyond.”
Tongan Prime Minister Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa also took centre stage, highlighting the ocean is the very heart of the shared identity of the PSIDS.
He said the conservation and sustainable use of the marine environment, among important climate actions, is vital to our economies and our livelihoods.
“The health of our ocean and the achievement of goals in the 2030 Agenda is unquestionable and it is important that we continue, as Pacific Islanders, to push aggressively for measures that will sustain the health, productivity and resilience of our ocean,” Tu’i’onetoa said.
Tuvalu Prime Minister Kausea Natano said climate change is the defining challenge of our generation and the impact on Pacific island countries is threatening.
He said there is an absolute need to fully recognise the impacts of climate change, at the same time, implement adaptation and climate resilient actions.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Bainimarama also delivered a closing statement at a side-event session with the theme-Building The Climate Resilience Of The Urban Poor which was co-hosted by the Turkish Government and UN Habitat.
At the event, he said the current lack of climate resilience among our urban poor is not a Fijian problem but rather a global problem that requires global solutions.
“As a global community, we have a commitment to leaving no citizen behind in our fight against climate change and this will be the ultimate test of that commitment,” he added.
The Head of Government also delivered an intervention at the Ministerial Dialogue on Adaptation which was co-hosted by Spain and Chile.
He said that there was a need to mainstream climate considerations across our planning and decision-making processes.
“Fiji is also one of several countries to develop a National Adaptation Plan in line with the UNFCCC guidelines and we’ve leveraged technical support from our development partners to implement adaptation projects tailored to our unique vulnerabilities, whether it is building seawalls, relocating communities, planting mangroves or boosting our agro-resilience,” Prime Minister Bainimarama added.