Thursday, June 30, 2011

[pima.nius] US to help Pacific on climate change issues

11:39 AM |

US to help Pacific on climate change issues

Updated June 30, 2011 17:02:52

The United States government says it will work closely with the smaller Pacific Island nations to help combat the effects of climate change and to improve food security.

The US Assistant Secretary for State for Pacific Affairs, Kurt Campbell said this in Port Moresby this morning at the end of a visit to Papua New Guinea.

It's part of the President Obama administration move to engage more with the Pacific in security, climate change issues and other areas important to them.

Presenter: Firmin Nanol
Speakers: Kurt Campbell, US Assistant Secretary for State for Pacific Affairs; Nisha Biswal, USAID's Assistant Administrator; Admiral Patrick Walsh is the Commander of US Pacific Fleet based in, Honolulu, Hawaii

NANOL: Assistant Secretary Kurt Campbell says many small island countries in the Pacific are directly affected by climate change.

He says the United States wants to help such countries by engaging with them through several of its agencies like the US Defence, Navy and the International Development Agency - USAID to help minimise the impacts of climate change.

Kurt Campbell says the US will also support the agenda of clean energy alternatives to be discussed at the Pacific Islands Forum meeting in New Zealand in September this year.

CAMPBELL: We all acknowledge the challenge facing the Pacific Islands in this regard is profound, and there is a clear recognition that some of these societies and island nations who have contributed nothing to the problem bear the tragic burden of the consequences. So we recognise the urgency and the importance of it and that's one of the reasons why USAID has made climate change a primary focus of its projects in the Pacific. And if I can just add one other thing, petrol prices are extraordinarily high because of the transport costs associated, but what's interesting is how little renewable energy capabilities you will see just on a regular basis as you go from nation to nation. And one of the things that we're going to try to do is to work with partners to try to focus more of our attention in this area. For instance we've seen some wonderful large buildings being built across the Pacific. We think some of those buildings are not very energy efficient and that we could potentially cooperate more with Australia and New Zealand, particularly with China on areas where we can invest more in clean technologies going forward, and that's going to be a focus of the United States at the upcoming �

NANOL: He says however, climate change legislation at the international level to combat global warming and for industrialised nations to reduce carbon emission remain very complicated issues.

CAMPELL: The politics of climate change in several of the industrialised democracies is very complicated and complex. Australia is facing enormous challenges as they go forward with their domestic legislation as has the United States. President Obama has stated clearly the fundamental nature of this challenge and he has established goals at the level of the executive branch where the United States needs to go. But I think there is a recognition that without the kind of international legal framework that it is difficult to make the kind of progress necessary, and I think you will see the United States over the course of the next several years trying to get more agreement among key states. One of the things that we found in Copenhagen and also Mexico City is that these global negotiations are extraordinarily cumbersome given all the different players.

NANOL: The United States Agency for International Development - USAID will open a regional office in Papua New Guinea to better serve countries in the Pacific region.

The agency has been engaged in the areas of HIV/Aids assistance in PNG, programs assisting women and girls and regional programs like the Coral Triangle Initiative which includes PNG and Solomon Islands.

USAID's Assistant Administrator, Nisha Biswal says the regional office will be based in Port Moresby to be closer to the region.

BISWAL: Previously we had managed our programs from Bangkok and Manila. But we find that the distances are too large to enable us to engage directly with the people and the governments and that we therefore in the very near future, in the next two months will be opening our regional office here in Port Moresby. And we will be expanding our programs, particularly in the area of global climate change. Some programs to strengthen regional organisations and their ability to address food security as it is impacted by climate change.

NANOL: The delegation was also accompanied by US Defence and Security officials.

Admiral Patrick Walsh is the Commander of US Pacific Fleet based in, Honolulu, Hawaii.

He says one of the challenges is to protect the fisheries and other natural resources for the people in the region including PNG.

WALSH: We talk about ways that we can protect the economic exclusion zones , ways that we can collaborate, ways that we can support each other because these are really the challenges that provide for quality of work and quality of life for people everywhere.

NANOL: Assistant Secretary Kurt Campbell also met with PNG's Acting Prime Minister Sam Abal.

The US delegation's next stop is Palau to meet with President Johnson Toribiong and his government.


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pacific islands media association
pima.nius@gmail.com
aotearoa, new zealand
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pacific islands media association
pima.nius@gmail.com
aotearoa, new zealand
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The pima.nius googlegroup is a facility for discussion and distributing information. Content sent by this googlegroup are forwarded from various networks and media publications.
 
DISCLAIMER: These emails are unedited and discussions made through this googlegroup are unmoderated. Announcements made through this googlegroup do not constitute endorsement for the organisations, individuals or opinions featured. Please check the integrity of organisations and individuals before exchanging personal information with them.
 
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