Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Marshall Islands initiate climate ‘roadmap’

By Stanley Simpson, Climate Pasifika Media Team

Marshall Islands Minister in Assistance to the President, Hon. Mr Ruben Zackhras

7 December Cancun, Mexico - The Republic of the Marshall Islands has initiated a climate roadmap to respond effectively to the challenges of climate change and the need for Fast Start finance to facilitate this.

Marshall Islands Minister in Assistance to the President – Hon. Mr. Ruben Zackhras explained the roadmap in a session today titled ‘Making Fast Start finance work: A low lying island nation perspective.’

“Our national climate roadmap, adopted by cabinet in September, and our forthcoming policy provide an effective framework for energy and adaptation – these are the vehicles for our Fast Start projects to reach across the whole of our government, and across all of our islands,” Zackhras stated.

“Fast start finance means donor responsibilities – but it also requires political will from recipients to address some very complicated issues. Political leadership on Fast Start from the highest levels is a key ingredient to success.”

Zackhras says the Marshallese cabinet, government officials, NGOs and local communities are now taking positive action to come forward with proposals and initiatives.

“We will use these to develop an initial portfolio and match it with donor support,” he says.

“We must be optimists and engage with donors in mutual discussions. Identifying ‘lessons learned’ will make Fast Start finance work. There are some difficulties to address, but negative messages on Fast Start do not help us.”

The Minister also announced that they have made progress in securing their first Fast Start project – which they will shortly finalise with the US.

“This involves the provision of a technical adviser who will help our government bring our climate roadmap and climate policy to life, this was the first priority, and first step in our roadmap.”

Zackhras started his speech by stating that as a low-lying small island nation, climate change is – for the Marshallese – an issue of survival and statehood.

“We cannot wait for a perfect global agreement – we must start visible action now, even as we build our capacity,” he said.

For other news on Fast Start Finance by Climate Pasifika Media, please visit the below links:
Samoa and Solomon Islands raise questions on fast track finance
Pleas of urgent action of survival on fragile planet
Rush to disburse fast start finance for 2010, U.S commits $21million for the Pacific

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