Tuesday, March 15, 2011

[pima.nius] Day 1 News from the PCCR 2011, Alofi, Niue

1:24 PM |

via PIJO


Fakaalofa lahi atu from Niue, the host of the 2011 Pacific Climate Change Roundtable.

Please find below news from Day 1 at the PCCR.  Apologies for the delay in sending the news out - struggles today with the internet :)  Hopefully we'll be able to attach the images to this email, otherwise - please visit our Climate Pacific Blogsite - http://climatepasifika.blogspot.com , SPREP site - www.sprep.org<http://www.sprep.org>

News stories - PCCR Opening, Speech from the Hon. Toke Talagi Premier of Niue, New 'Pacific Desk' for met services based at SPREP.

Please dont hesitate to contact me if there is anything in particular you need.
Kia manuia,
Nan



Roundtable discussions underway on mobilising climate change resources

14 March 2011, Alofi, Niue - The Pacific Climate Change Roundtable (PCCR) is officially underway in Alofi, Niue with the theme "Mobilising Climate Change Resources for the Pacific".

With the concern of Pacific countries being the most vulnerable on earth to the impacts of climate change, over 100 delegates from all over the world are gathering at the four day conference to address the urgent need to accelerate climate change finance through welcoming the increase involvement of donors and partners.

At today's' opening ceremony, a minute of silence was held in respect and memory of those from Christchurch, New Zealand and Japan who have undergone huge tragedies.

"The tragic earthquake and tsunami in Japan, following so closely after the Christchurch earthquake remind us again of the power of nature and the vulnerability of Pacific nations to climate change and to natural disasters. The impacts of cyclone Heta in this country (Niue) in 2004 further underline this vulnerability," said the Director of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).

"The issue of climate finance has been repeatedly emphasised by our leaders, and this is reflected in the theme for this roundtable.

"We all recognize that there must be a quantum leap in funding for climate change in the countries of our region, in particular for focused adaptation and mitigation programmes. We greatly appreciate commitments made under the Copenhagen Accord to provide 100 billion US dollars per annum by 2020 to support climate change efforts by developing countries," he added.

"Climate finance must support systems and structures which exist at national and regional levels. It is vital that donor efforts be coordinated and sharply addresses the priorities developed by Pacific countries."

Premier of Niue, Hon. Toke Talagi hopes that one of the outcome of the PCCR are set plans for adaptation measures and mitigating infrastructure to help the Pacific survive the current trends until countries are able to at least stabilise their climate situation and hopefully reverse it; as it is already clear and recognised that these are generational decisions and new phenomena.

"Our current work of preparing the budgets to help implement the five-year National Strategic Plan will help us with our climate change objectives priorities and funding options.

"For the funding institutions and donor countries we urge you not just to pledge the funds but to ensure they are released in a timely manner so that we can activate our plans and programs."

The Roundtable is seen as the premier forum for discussion on climate change issues in the Pacific involving all agencies and stakeholders as partners.

The meeting is currently underway and is from the 14th to the 18th of March.

Opening statement for Hon. Toke Talagi, Premier of Niue at the Pacific Climate Change Roundtable
14 March 2011, Alofi, Niue - Fakaalofa Lahi Atu, Warm Greetings to you all and welcome to the Rock of Polynesia, Niue.

Thank you for accepting our offer to host the 2011 Pacific Climate Change Roundtable.

We are grateful to SPREP, PIGGAREP and PACC as well as Australia and Switzerland for the support and funding to enable this meeting to be held here in Niue. These are very important and critical contributions, particularly from Australia and Switzerland, and for the delegates from those countries, please convey to your respective governments our appreciation for this valuable support.  I wish to thank the local organising committee for their wonderful and tireless work.

I hope that this meeting will add more defining decisions on the various areas of Climate Change that continues to impact our countries in the region and the world in general.

Climate change has been identified by Pacific Island Leaders and world leaders as the most challenging and defining phenomena of our time.

Climate Change crosses all sectors and all facets of our lives and cannot be ignored or put aside without some very devastating long term consequences to our countries and indeed Mother Earth. It is no accident that these meetings now include NGOs, Private sector and civil society.

As many of you are aware there are probably critical areas that impacts Climate Change decision making.

Political meetings in Copenhagen, Cancun and Durban in future will determine whether there is political will by all countries to agree on a common objective. This common objective in terms of the lowering of green house gas emissions and CO2 levels and the consequential impact temperatures rises will have on our climate and planet.

This is the ultimate question on sustainability and mitigation with our planet, and without concerted action and common agreement then everything we will do and continue to do is to adapt and mitigate our failure of reaching this common objective.

We must plan adaptation measures and mitigating infrastructure to help us survive the current trends until we are able to at least stabilise our climate situation and hopefully reverse it. It is already clear and recognised that these are generational decisions and new phenomena.

The emerging green revolution and new sustainable developments models and practices is an acknowledgement of this new phenomena and its success will determine our worldwide success in keeping our climate changes to sustainable levels in both the short and long term.

We all acknowledge that the changes that have occurred to date have already made an impact and will continue to do so. Countries like Kiribati, Tuvalu, PNG and all low-lying islands and areas susceptible to rising sea levels are already impacted by the changes to our climate.

Last week at the meeting in Vanuatu the President of Kiribati explained the initial response of building sea walls has not been successful and many of the islands are no longer able to maintain acceptable standards. New infrastructure needs to be built and the options are very expensive and will involve a mix of solutions appropriate to the particular situation.

This week you will be discussing adaptation and mitigating plans and the coordination of these.  I am not surprised that these meetings are being convened, I have enough problems just figuring out the acronyms let alone what they can do to assist all of us. And to make matters worse each and every donor and acronym has their own governance accountability transparency frameworks which is challenging and frustrating to all of us.

To date Niue has been actively responding to these organisations, institutions and donors as well as trying desperately to formulate a credible Climate Change Policy framework as well as the strategies to achieve these goals and objectives we have prioritised.

Add these to the recurrent responsibilities we have plus the impact of the current financial and economic crisis and recent unrest and consequent oil price increases and it is clear that we have a great deal to do.

Our current work of preparing the budgets to help implement the five-year National Strategic Plan will help us with our climate change objectives priorities and funding options.

We must make sure that we are able to take action and not just talk about it. We must make our plans, prepare project proposals and seek funding to help us implement these plans and structures.

For the funding institutions and donor countries we urge you not just to pledge the funds but to ensure they are released in a timely manner so that we can activate our plans and programs. Focus on outcomes not process please.

I commend the EU for their actions which have seen funds allocated to the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu last week. This demonstrates a commitment to action which initially may appear small but is a significant millstone for the EU. Other countries such as Japan, NZ, Australia, and Switzerland are also now starting to realise that action and funds are needed now and not just pledged.

For the CROP agencies and other regional and international institutions, it would assist us if your efforts are coordinated, well managed and not a duplication of other agency efforts.

In Niue, our programme for mitigation is simple and based on a model of response which we have observed and also based on our experience with Heta in 2004 and the experiences we now see with Christchurch, Brisbane, and now Japan.

This is that we must build evacuation centres which are self sustainable, is multipurpose and hopefully self funding.

It is based on a model for building a complex which can be used as a tourist facility, a community facility or a small sports complex.

It will not necessary mean building all new structures but a mix of new, strengthening of old, adding more services and such things as adequate toilets, water catchments and cooking facilities.

We are progressing well with the EU funded alternative solar option to mitigate oil price increases as well as the Japan Government adaptation and mitigation funds.

I note that you have a long agenda and many important decisions to make. I wish you all success and hope that the outcomes from this meeting will help all of us adjust and adapt to climate change.

I have much pleasure in declaring this meeting open.

Fakaue Lahi.


Met Services 'Pacific Desk' for the region to be based at SPREP

14 March 2011, Alofi, Niue - An update on the work of the Pacific Meteorological Services was presented during a special lunchtime session at the Pacific Climate Change Roundtablen (PCCR) in Alofi, Niue.

This segment by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) was to inform participants about the work that has taken place since the Review of the Pacific Meteorological Services was completed a year ago.

The Review was held over a period of two years and involved in country visits of eight different SPREP members. It concluded with 10 key recommendations that were divided into three sub groups; Strengthening of the Fiji Meteorological Services; Regional support and Coordination; Strengthening National Meteorological Services.

"We've made some progress with the strengthening of regional support and coordination, which more or less means we have covered 80% of the review recommendations in that regard," said Dean Solofa the Pacific Islands Global Climate Observation System (PIGCOS) at SPREP.

"Forming the 'Pacific Desk' at SPREP to help manage and implement the incoming ten-year strategy to bring about stronger met services in our region. It will consist of a team led by the Meteorology Climatology Adviser (MeCA), a new position for our region."

The 'Pacific desk' will also provide technical support for strengthening meteorological services to the Pacific island countries and territories. This team establishes the foundation to carry out the recommendations made in the regional met service review.

"This will support SPREP's role in helping the meteorology departments of the region provide a stronger service for their communities, SPREP is very pleased to be able to assist with this," said David Sheppard the SPREP Director.

"We understand the importance of the met services to the Pacific and our role in supporting them is one we take seriously."

The Commonwealth Fund for Technical Co-operation is a partner providing support for the 'Pacific desk' which plans to be in action by July this year.


ENDS -


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aotearoa, new zealand
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1 comments:

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