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Tonga and the Pacific addressing Climate Change at the 44th Pacific Islands Leaders’ Forum in Majur

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02 September 2013 This week, Tonga’s Prime Minister, Lord Tu’ivakano joins other Heads of Governments from the Pacific at the 44th Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting, which will officially open on 3 September, in the Micronesian capital of Majuro in the Marshall Islands.

The High-level Meeting is based on the theme. “Marshalling the Pacific Response to the Climate Challenge”. As host nation, the Marshall Islands will introduce the 'Majuro Declaration for Climate Leadership' aimed at giving new momentum to the region's fight against climate change. Pacific leaders including Tonga have identified climate change as the single greatest threat to the region. Low-lying Pacific islands are particularly vulnerable to sea level rise caused by climate change. A series of recent weather-related disasters means that the islands have a keener sense than most of the urgency of drawing up a coherent response to climate change.

Tonga, like other small islands states is highly susceptible to the impacts of climate change and disaster risks due to its geographical, geological and socio-economic characteristics.

The Government of Tonga understands these significant detrimental impacts of climate change and disaster risks to sustainable development of the country hence considered these issues as high priorities in its National Strategic Planning Framework, 2009–2014. Tonga’s Joint National Action Plan on Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Management have high national and community priority goals and activities to be implemented to enable the people and environment of Tonga to adapt to the impacts of climate change and to mitigate disaster risks.

The Majuro Declaration fir Climate Change

The Majuro climate change declaration is expected to jump-start expanding regional leadership efforts for next year’s Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States to be held in Samoa in September 2014, and a possible World leaders meeting on Climate Change that UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon is reportedly planning to sponsor in 2015. The PIF will culminate in the signing
of the Majuro Declaration for Climate Change, reaffirming the commitment of the Pacific Heads of Government to addressing the problem of climate change. This will generate a new wave of climate change leadership within the region.

The Pacific Regional Data Repository

In assuming decisive leaderships in the region’s efforts towards the achievement of tangible response to sustainable energy, it was through the resolute stewardship of Tonga’s Prime Minister, Lord Tu’ivakano, that a concrete proposal to establish the Pacific Regional Data Repository for Sustainable Energy for All (PRDR SE4All) is ready to be presented to the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders meeting on 4 September. This imitative to establish an online energy database system for Pacific Governments was agreed to in the Pacific Leaders Energy Summit Meetings (PLES) in July and endorsed by the UN Asia Pacific Energy Forum (APEF) in Vladivostok in the Russian Federation in May this year.

This PRDR will be a leadership initiative by the Pacific countries to garner international support, especially funding, for energy initiatives and recognition of the Pacific islands in international dialogues. Tonga’s Prime Minister is endeavoring to get the support of Pacific Islands Governments to endorse this declaration proposal as a regional initiative towards sustainable energy. The signing of this Declaration to Establish a PRDR All SE4All will take place in the margins of the 68th United Nations General Assembly in New York later this September.

Consequently, the high-level meetings in the Pacific Islands in the Marshall Islands and the upcoming Session of the UN General Assembly in New York will serve as powerful global demonstrations of the collective determination of the Pacific Leaders to lead efforts towards addressing global climate change and sustainable energy for all. Sustainable energy will continue to be central to the success of the next Meeting of SIDS in Samoa in 2014, in the development of the Post-2015 Development Agenda, in the Pacific Islands’ fight against climate change, and in creating a more sustainable future for all.

The Forum will discuss a broad agenda on ways of bolstering relations between islands member countries and the private sector, civil society, and in particular the development partners to commit to increasing their contributions to averting the global climate catastrophe.

Tonga’s delegation, led by the Prime Minister consists of key Government officials from the Ministry of Commerce, Tourism and Labour and the Ministry of Lands, Survey, Natural Resources and Climate Change. The members of TERM IU are included in the delegation.

The Forum will conclude on September 6.

 

ENDS

Issued by the: The Prime Minister's Office, P.O. Box 62, Nuku'alofa, Tonga. Tel: (676) 24 644 Fax: (676) 23888; Media Enquiries Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 04 September 2013 17:42 )
 
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