Climate Change Dominates Pacific Island Forum Meeting

3 August 2010: The Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) is holding its 41st Annual Meeting in Port Vila, Vanuatu, from 3-6 August 2010, to give political guidance to the region, including on climate change.

The meeting comprises: the Smaller Island States (SIS) Leaders meeting; the Pacific-African Caribbean Pacific (ACP) leaders meeting; PIF Formal Session; Forum Leaders Retreat and Post-Forum Dialogue Partners Meeting.

On the other priority issue of climate change, Forum Leaders are to discuss the mid-term review of the Pacific Islands Framework for Action on Climate Change and its accompanying action plan, as well as a set of principles to guide Forum members, regional organizations and development partners on the coordination of resources for responding to climate change.

During the 19th meeting of the SIS Leaders, Tuiloma Neroni Slade, PIF 
Secretary-General, highlighted as a priority for SIS sustainable financing options for concrete climate change projects at the national level; encouraged participants not to allow the disappointments of the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference to divert attention from the dangers of climate change; and stressed the need to build on the outcomes of Copenhagen Conference and strengthen them into binding global commitments.

SIS leaders discussed a consolidated Pacific position for the upcoming climate change conference in Cancun, Mexico, in late 2010, as well as the need to develop mechanisms to absorb and manage international funds related to the Copenhagen Accord. They also discussed other funding sources, such as the EU-Pacific Initiative on Climate Change supporting SIS adaptation efforts. On renewable energy, SIS Leaders welcomed progress made in strengthening sub-regional shipping services and emphasized the importance of the sustainability of the sub-regional feeder service.

The European Commission (EC), which participates in the meetings, has announced that it will continue discussions with the PIF Secretariat on a possible memorandum of understanding for a joint Pacific-EU initiative on climate change, to attract international climate change funding to the region.

Founded in 1971, PIF is a regional political and economic policy institution comprising 14 Pacific Island countries, Australia and New Zealand. [PIF Press Release 3 August] [PIF Press Release 3 August] [PIF Press Release 1 August] [Slade's Speech] [EU Memo]