Climate change is a reality for the Pacific: Dame Meg Taylor
May 8, 2019 6:19 am
Climate change is not a debate for the Pacific – it’s a reality.
Secretary-General of the Pacific Forum, Dame Meg Taylor says the region is experiencing the effects of climate change every year.
Taylor adds that this affects our infrastructure, food, water security, and economies.
“The economic costs of natural disasters increased from 3.8 percent of regional GDP in 2012 to 15.6 percent of total regional GDP in 2016. However, the costs were as high as 30 percent of Fiji’s GDP IN 2016 and 64 percent of Vanuatu’s GDP in 2015.”
With the 2019 Forum Economic Ministers Meeting starting today, the SG highlights that discussions will be on a collective response to these issues and a shared desire to build a resilient Blue Pacific.
“In 2017, Forum leaders endorsed the Blue Pacific narrative as the core driver of collective action for advancing the leaders vision under the framework for Pacific regionalism.” The narrative explicitly recognizes that as the Blue Pacific, we are custodians of some of the world’s richest biodiversity and marine and terrestrial resources.”
Meanwhile, this year’s FEMM will focus on climate financing and the proposed Pacific Resilience Facility which is a climate fund – the first to be fully controlled by Forum leaders.
The PRF aims to assist governments, organizations, businesses, and communities in the region to support the financing of resilience infrastructure investment to reduce the impacts of climate change and natural disasters.
With most financial support for the Pacific countries focusing on post-disaster relief and recovery, this facility will have contextualized and affordable products geared towards national governments, the private sector and communities through civil society organization.