For the first time the 2020 Pacific Ocean, Pacific Climate Change Conference (POPCCC) underway this week is being held as a virtual conference. Another large virtual event for the Pacific Islands Nature Conference will be held in November, attracting hundreds of virtual participants, reports the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).
The Prime Minister of Samoa, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, and the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, James Marape, opened the conference on October 27, which had nearly 200 virtual participants. The 2020 POPCCC is the third biennially convened conference, and the first to be held virtually. It is being hosted by the Government of Samoa in collaboration with its partners the National University of Samoa, Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme and Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington.
The conference, held over the course of four days, under the theme “Blue Pacific, Climate Action for Climate Resilience”, features multiple presentations and panel discussions about the science, the impacts, and the solutions to climate change in the Pacific.
“As many borders remain closed due to the current COVID situation, climate change respects no borders, and the devastation continues. We cannot ignore nor delay actions that threaten our livelihoods and the very existence of some of our Pacific islands,” PM Tuilaepa said in his opening address. “The solutions do not lie with a handful of people. It requires a sector-wide and whole of society approach,” he added. “Thus, I am pleased to note the diverse backgrounds and expertise that will gather virtually this week from across the Pacific and the world.” PM Tuilaepa also stated that the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders would soon meet to discuss regional priorities, the highest of which are COVID-19, climate change, and oceans.
Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister, Hon. James Marape, delivered the keynote address and said, “Climate change is real, and a threat to all of us. It is a serious concern to me and to us all.”
Book launch today
Today, October 29, a new book will be launched at the conference that was compiled from a diverse range of ideas on how to tackle climate change and it impacts, presented at the previous conference
The book, titled In the Eye of the Storm—Reflections from the Second Pacific Climate Change Conference, is a compilation of the contributions of some of the keynote speakers at the Second Pacific Climate Change Conference, held in Wellington in 2018. It is co-edited by Professor of Law Alberto Costi and Professor of Physical Geography James Renwick, both from Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington.
Professor Costi said, “This collection of essays addresses topics ranging from the science of climate change to its effects on the environment; tackles legal and policy issues about climate change from a local, regional and global perspective; and analyses the challenges raised by climate change through economic, media and religious lenses. We look forward to sharing our research more widely at this event.”
Mr Kosi Latu, Director-General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) said. “Climate change is the greatest threat to our Pacific islands, we must do everything we can do to amplify our voice to bring about higher ambitions, this book launch is an example of this.”
10th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas
Latu also said while the COVID-19 pandemic had hit home on so many fronts, that another important Pacific conference would be held virtually.
“Once we gained some certainty and became used to the changes brought about by COVID-19 we were more confident in forging ahead, with our partners at our side. We’re proud to say that the 10th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas is now to be held virtually from 24 – 27 November 2020. We anticipate that this is going to be the largest virtual event for our Pacific islands’ region, all of which is made possible through partnerships,” he said.
Links for three events:
The 2020 Pacific Ocean Pacific Climate Conference from 27 - 30 October, 2020 is a partnership between the Government of Samoa, Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), National University of Samoa (NUS), and Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University Wellington. The theme of this online conference is ‘Blue Pacific, Climate Action for Climate Resilience’. Further information can be found at https://pacificoceanclimatechange.org/
To register for the 10th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conference and Protected Areas see https://www.pacificnatureconference.com/registration. It will be held virtually from 24 – 27 November 2020 and registration is free.
To learn more about the Pacific Islands Roundtable for Nature Conservation visit https://www.pacificnatureconference.com/pirt There are 14 partners: Conservation International, International Union for Conservation of Nature-Oceania, Society for Conservation Biology Oceania, SeaWeb, Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme, The Nature Conservancy, Wildfire Conservation Society, World Wildlife Fund, The University of the South Pacific, BirdLife International, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Protected Areas Learning and Research Collaborative, The Pacific Community, Pacific Islands Development Forum.