By Pascal Laureyn
This article is part of a series about the activists and communities of the Pacific and small island states who are responding to the effects of climate change. Leaders from climate and social justice movements from around the world met in Suva, Fiji from 4-8 December for International Civil Society Week.
Talofa from SPREP
By Thalif Deen
UNITED NATIONS, Nov 29 2017 (IPS) - The 1951 UN convention on political refugees– which never foresaw the phenomenon of climate change– permits refugee status only if one “has a well-founded fear of persecution because of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion.”
But a proposal for an amendment to that Convention—or an optional protocol — to include a new category of “environmental refugees” has failed to get off the ground.
A low-lying atoll nation in the central Pacific Ocean, Kiribati has a population of just over 110,000 people. Below average rainfall since November 2016 has led to an ongoing drought across the country, with the southern island most severely affected.
Early results of Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems initiative presented at climate change conference
Vulnerable communities in Africa and the Pacific and Caribbean are now benefiting from improved early warning systems against extreme weather as part of an international drive to boost resilience and climate change adaptation. But further investments are needed to reduce the risks from hazards like tropical cyclones, floods and drought.
Resilient Transport Vital to Curb Disaster Losses in Small Island Developing States
Improved policies alone could reduce the impact of natural disasters on well-being by 13 to 25% in small island countries
By Laurie Goering
LONDON, Nov 9 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Pacific islanders may be among the first people in the world forced to migrate as a clear result of climate change - but a range of thorny legal obstacles stands in the way of that happening successfully, researchers warned on Thursday.
Addressing those now, and putting in place a regional plan to deal with migration before it picks up speed, will be key to avoiding a future emergency, they said.
SUVA, Fiji, Nov 8 2017 (IPS) - In the Pacific, climate change is an ever-present threat, undermining human rights, livelihoods, and security. Pacific Islanders are working with courage and resolve to build the resilience of their communities and to catalyse international actions towards ending global carbon pollution.
“My country is in peril from rising seas so I am here to appeal for urgent climate action, otherwise we will lose our homes. Kiribati is going under water,” said Eri Aram.
Eri, a 28-year old father of three from Kiribati, is in Australia this week to tell the story of his country. He will then attend the UN climate summit in Germany to ensure his people are given a voice in determining future climate policy.
For Eri, forced relocation as a result of climate change is a very real and grim prospect.
Climate change is already forcing millions of people from their land and homes, and putting many more at risk of displacement in the future. Supercharged storms, more intense and prolonged droughts, rising seas and other impacts of climate change all exacerbate people’s existing vulnerabilities and increase the likelihood of being forced to move.
Greetings from SPREP,
This year’s State of the Environment for Oceania report focuses on people’s changing relationship with the seas that surround us, and how Oceania communities and governments are responding to today’s environmental challenges.
Beneath the surface of the waves, the temperature, volume and chemistry of our oceans is changing. A major report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature said the world is ‘completely unprepared’ for the impact of warming oceans on marine life, ecosystems, and people.
by Benjamin Sims
The central instruments for implementing the Paris Agreement are the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). These are climate action plans submitted by countries to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at COP 21.
The Green Climate Fund is giving the Kiribati government $US585,927 dollars to help the country better engage with the Fund.
Read more on Radio New Zealand International.
Greetings from Apia,
While a lot of important leaders meetings were taking place in the region in September, there were also a large number of technical meetings convened.
These will all contribute towards the scientific basis of climate change work in the region.
Introduction: Message from the Director General
I am pleased to introduce the Annual Report for 2016 and Director General’s Overview of Progress since the 27th SPREP Meeting held in Niue in September, 2016. It has been another successful year of implementation and results in support of Pacific island countries and territories.
SPREP Strategic Plan 2017–2026
Assemblée générale Plénière
Soixante-douzième session, 15e à 18e séances plénières, Matin, après-midi & soir
L’action commune est le moyen le plus efficace de réaliser un développement et d’atteindre une paix qui bénéficient à tous, ont reconnu la quarantaine de dirigeants qui sont intervenus lors de cette quatrième journée du débat annuel de l’Assemblée générale. À un moment de l’histoire jugé décisif, le débat a revêtu un caractère souvent sombre en mettant l’accent sur les changements climatiques, les inégalités et le terrorisme.
General Assembly Plenary
Seventy-second Session, 15th to 18th Meetings (AM, PM & Night)
The interdependence of States and the benefits of joint action must be recognized and reaffirmed, the General Assembly heard today, as speakers debated the value of multilateralism in addressing pressing global challenges, ranging from inequality to climate change.
It has been an interesting and intense month for the Pacific meteorological services, with a series of meetings and training workshops culminating in the 4th Pacific Meteorological Council (PMC) and 2nd Pacific Ministerial Meeting on Meteorology. These were held in Honiara,
Solomon Islands, and saw increased interest and participation from Members, partners and international organisations. The Honiara Ministerial Statement is also an important development in terms of policy direction and needs in the region.