AT WORLD CONSERVATION CONGRESS

Pacific Community highlights climate change, resilience, sustainable fisheries

HONOLULU, Hawaii—The world’s largest conservation congress kicked off last Friday in Hawaii and the Pacific Community has joined over 8,000 global leaders and decision-makers from government, civil society, indigenous groups, business and academia, to garner support for stronger action towards a sustainable future.

The Pacific Community director general Dr. Colin Tukuitonga attended the Pacific Ocean Summit at the start of the IUCN Congress and moderated a session on Action on Climate Change-reducing emissions, increasing renewable energy, which included addresses from the President of the Republic of Marshall Islands, H.E. Dr Hilda Heine, the Prime Minister of Tuvalu, Hon. Enele Sopoaga. and the Kingdom of Tonga’s Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Siaosi Sovaleni.

The summit provided an opportunity to launch the 2030 Ocean Partnership for action on the world’s largest ocean with an aim to make commitments for action on climate change as well as renewable energy and for the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (14) on Oceans.

“We’re at a critical juncture in terms of the global response to climate change. Pacific Island countries and territories have committed to bold initiatives in terms of enhancing renewable energy production, adapting to climate change and strengthening the resilience of ecosystems,” Tukuitonga said.

“It’s critical that the donor community pursues and increases its support for the needs of the Pacific,” he said.

SPC has a large portfolio of climate change and disaster risk management projects in the Pacific region and collaborates closely with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS).

While in Hawaii, Tukuitonga will also have the opportunity to address Pacific Island leaders on the “new song” for coastal fisheries.

The “new song” is an innovative strategy to achieve sustainable inshore fisheries, underpinned by community-based approaches that provide food security, long-term economic, social and ecological benefits to Pacific Island communities.

The initiative was developed in 2015 by over 100 participants representing fisheries and environment departments across SPC’s 22 members at a regional coastal fisheries management workshop convened by the organisation.

“Inshore fisheries are a primary or secondary source of income for up to 50 percent of households in the Pacific region. By 2030, it is estimated that an additional 115,000 tonnes of fish will be needed across the region for good nutrition and therefore to avoid the projected supply deficit, sources of fish need to diversify and management of coastal fisheries will need to improve,” Dr Tukuitonga said.

The 10-day World Conservation Congress, which will also be attended by SPC’s director for Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change Programme, Sylvie Goyet and her team, will also provide the opportunity to highlight key results of two climate-change related initiatives—EU-INTEGRE and AFD/FFEM RESCCUE.

A full programme of SPC’s intervention and participation at the Congress and contact details of the delegation can be made available.

The Congress concludes on Sept. 10.

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