Fiji COP 23 Presidency a tremendous opportunity for SIS voice to be heard

Fiji’s Presidency of the upcoming COP 23 in Bonn later this year provides a tremendous opportunity for Smaller Island States (SIS) in the Pacific to have their voices heard.

And, Forum Secretary General Dame Meg Taylor said linking oceans to climate change is crucial for the Pacific.

“I think it’s a tremendous opportunity for us and the Prime Minister of Fiji has assured this in his discussions with Pacific Leaders a couple of months ago. Holding Paris together is really important in terms of the temperature rises. For us its 1.5 degrees. 

“Linking oceans to climate change is a big one for the Pacific. For us the two issues are not separate. In the Paris Agreement there was reference to Oceans but it’s not strong enough.

“I think Fiji has emphasised that it wants to make sure that the concerns of this region are well and truly heard, so this is the responsibility our leaders take on their shoulders as they work as a collective group,” said Dame Meg.

Forum Deputy Secretary General Cristelle Pratt said the climate talks in Bonn present an opportunity for the Pacific to affirm their leadership on climate change.

“COP 23 presents an opportunity for the Pacific to reaffirm their leadership on climate change and oceans – in support of a member of the Forum family who will be taking the helm of this important global process that is so very critical to us.

“Pacific leadership on climate change and oceans will enable the region to amplify a strong, united voice that builds on the Pacific leadership successes in the COP21 outcome in Paris.

“Fiji’s COP 23 presidency role presents an added opportunity for Pacific Leaders to leverage off in their advocacy and securing political support for Pacific priorities at COP 23,” said DSG Pratt.

Key priorities for the Pacific in COP 23 include, but not limited to:

  • Delivering progress on the Paris Agreement Guidelines and the 2018 Facilitative Dialogue, ensuring the process is inclusive, transparent and favourable to the needs of Small Island developing states;
  • Adaptation and mitigation: showcasing demonstrative adaptation and mitigation efforts in the Pacific, and seeking further guidance and support for the nationally determined contributions (NDCs), adaptation communications, and national adaptation plans (NAPs);
  • Enhancing simplified access to scaled-up climate change finance and private sector investment in adaptation, as well as seeking further action on adaptation technology transfer and capacity building;
  • Seeking further work in ocean resilience and the ocean-climate interface; and,
  • Ensuring that the Adaptation Fund serves the Paris Agreement.

The Smaller Island States (SIS) is met in Apia yesterday.


Photo caption: Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat Secretary General Dame Meg Taylor