By Sini Latu, Tonga Broadcasting Commission: http://www.tonga-broadcasting.net
8 July 2012, Nadi, Fiji - The joint meeting of the 2013 Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management and Pacific Climate Change Roundtable has begun.
This is the first time in the region and internationally for such a joint meeting to take place.
The meeting’s theme is “Strengthening Resilience: An Integrated Regional Strategy for Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change for the Pacific”.
It started with a traditional ceremony held by the host country – Fiji – and chief guest Tonga’s Deputy Prime Minister Samiu Kuita Vaipulu who is also the Minister for Infrastructure.
Speaking on behalf of the people attending the joint meeting the Deputy Prime Minister was confident that all Pacific island nations and territories will stand together to see that the outcome of the deliberations will be done and that they will all benefit from it.
He’s also confident that delegations will share whatever they have learnt and experience with other countries – saying that no matter how small or big a country is in the Pacific, it is still affected one way or the other.
In delivering the Opening Address Fiji’s Acting Prime Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum – emphasized, that International communities should start acting on climate change issues and lessen the talk.
He says that there needs to be a jointly arranged global act to tackle the problem before it is too late – like it is with the Pacific’s case.
The region should also try to assess the risks and put in place concrete measures to deal with Climate Change and its impact on our people.
The main objective of the joint meeting is to progress discussions, commitment and combine efforts to develop an integrated strategy climate change and disaster risk management. This process is commonly referred to as the Joint Roadmap.
It is believed that the integrated approach will be more effective in reducing the risks of Disaster and Climate Change.
The Opening Addresses were given by the Director General of SPC – Dr Jimmie Rogers, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction – Margareta Wahlstrom, and David Sheppard – the Director General for SPREP.
Joining the Joint meeting are ministers, other political leaders, civil society groups, private sectors, national and local governments, and community representatives, donors, development partners and many more.