Friday 10 December 2010

Scene@COP16 : Pacific and COP flavour

Kiribati delegation

Ambassador Beck, Solomon Islands and fellow delegate

Coral Pasisi - Forum Secretariat and Dr Netatua Pelesikoti SPREP

Rence Sore, Solomon Islands

Pasha Carruthers, Cook Islands

Espen Ronneberg SPREP and AOSIS delegates

The computer lab outside the Ciebo plenary room

Cook Islands

Tuvalu delegation meeting

Dr Netatua Pelesikoti SPREP, Ambassador Marlene Moses Nauru, Coral Pasisi Forum Secretariat

Mexico booth

Cook Islands delegates

High Level Statements: Vanuatu

Ambassador Donald Kalpokas, Vanuatu's Ambassador to the United Nations

Draft outcomes fall short of AOSIS expectations

By Makereta Komai, Climate Pasifika Media in Cancun, Mexico

09 DECEMBER 2010 CANCUN --- A day before the conclusion of the global climate talks in Cancun, Mexico, there is still no clarity on major issues pushed forward by Pacific Island Countries and their small island counterparts in the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean.

Chief among them is the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal to stay alive, the position that the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) has been lobbying for two years since the Conference of the Parties in Poznan in Poland.

The draft outcome of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long Term Co-operative Action (AWG-LCA) released Wednesday still has 1.5 degrees bracketed with other options of and 1 and 2 degrees Celsius.

Any hope of inscribing the 1.5 goal looks increasingly dim as the United States leads the attack to stay with the below 2 degrees subscribed to in the Copenhagen Accord.

“I think the 2 degree goal is important. We try and guide our actions by what science is telling us. 2 degrees is sometimes looked at as talismanic but we follow what science is telling us."

US Climate Chief special envoy, Todd Stern, right, speaking to a delegate
“As we move forward, science might tell us that 2 degrees is too high or that 1.5 degrees is okay but for now the 2 degrees is a good goal to be in the agreement", said Todd Stern, the United States climate change special envoy.

But the proviso in the proposed draft is the period of the review of the increase in global temperature.

“I think we built into the Copenhagen Accord a provision for a review period in this agreement to take a look at how the world is doing. Our view is that the best way to proceed is for a review period, which should be linked to the science", said Stern

The draft outcome has endorsed a review period to take into account the best available scientific knowledge, observed impacts of climate change and to consider strengthening the long term goal of 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The first review starts in 2013 and is expected to conclude by 2015.

On loss and damage, the draft outcome requests AWG-LCA to consider a mechanism to address loss and damage associated with climate change impacts in developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.

This language is weaker than what AOSIS was asking for. The small island developing states (SIDS) wanted a mechanism established to take into account a disaster risk component, insurance and compensation funds to help SIDS manage the financial and economic risks arising from climate impacts. The mechanism should also assist in rapid recovery and rehabilitation from climate related extreme weather events and also address unavoidable damage and loss associated with adverse effects of climate change.

The draft outcome has recommended that a decision be taken at the next Conference of the Parties in Durban, South Africa in 2011.

A push for a new Green fund, proposed in the Copenhagen Accord, has found its way into the draft LCA outcome text.

Negotiators are yet to work out a name for the new fund and decide whether it will be established as a financial mechanism under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Samoa is keen to have the funds up and running, with representation on the Governing Board from SIDS.

“SIDS challenges and priorities are not identical to those of other negotiating groups both in focus, relative sizes and magnitude. It is critically important that SIDS has a voice in the transitional group to set up the Climate Fund, and in its Governing Board once its final architecture is in place", said Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, while addressing the High Level Segment of the negotiations.

PM Tuilaepa said the new Fund should be tailored to meet the needs of SIDS.

“Key to SIDS utilizing these resources is the ability to effectively access and manage them. In the absence of such modalities, any climate funding, old or new will be a disincentive and not a solution to the adaptation needs of the very group of vulnerable countries the fund was meant to address in the first place", said PM Tuilaepa.

Another element of the Copenhagen Accord now included in the proposed formal outcome is the fast start finance. There is general consensus that the US$30 billion committed for 2010-2012 must be equally shared between adaptation and mitigation and that the needs of most vulnerable developing states, such as the least developed countries and SIDS are prioritised.

At the end of 2010, most of the countries in the priority list have not received anything.

“It’s now a year after Copenhagen, and we still have not received any of the promised money", said President Anote Tong

Similarly, the same sentiments from Leaders of Nauru, Samoa, Palau, who attended the High Level Segment session here in Cancun.

One of the leading civil society organisations following the negotiations, Oxfam said a commitment to ensure that at least 50 percent of climate funding is dedicated to adaptation is missing.

"The delivery of adaptation finance to vulnerable communities already affected by climate change has been neglected so far. The new Climate Fund must close the adaptation gap to address this so that communities can protect themselves against the climate impacts of today and tomorrow," said Tim Gore, Oxfam’s international climate change advisor.

According Climate Action Network International (CAN), a group of influential civil society organisations around the world that at the end of 2010, an estimated 80 percent of the fast start finance had been allocated to mitigation and almost 10 percent was disbursed for adaptation purposed.

“This clearly shows that adaptation is the poor cousin of mitigation,” said CAN’s publication ECO.

Funding projects that have been approved for the Pacific and other Small Island Developing States have concentrated on renewable energy and energy efficiency, which accounts for the mitigation funds from the fast start finance. Denmark is the latest fast start finance donor to commit US$14.5 million for renewable energy projects in AOSIS nations.

The role of loans needs far greater clarity in the fast start finance.

“We know that a large proportion of the financing is being channelled as loans – 52 percent in the case of the European Union, for example", said ECO.

“That’s bad enough, countries should not have to get into debt to adapt to change that they didn’t cause."

On long term finance, the draft text endorsed that a scaled up, new and additional and predictable funding be made available to developing countries. Rich and industrialised countries will jointly mobilise US$100 billion a year by 2020 to help countries adapt to and mitigate against the impacts of climate change.

But there is strong push that developing nations (or Annex II) are roped into contributing to the long term finance pool.

This push by the rich nations has been reflected as an option in the draft outcome.

“Annex II countries shall provide 1.5 percent of their gross domestic product per year by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries", said the draft text.

To advance this agenda, the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon convened a distinguished group of eminent personalities to develop the thinking further. The group, led by Prime Ministers Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia and Jens Stoltenberg of Norway have concluded that US$100 billion annually will be challenging but feasible.

Hours before the close of the climate talks, the UN’s climate chief, Christina Figueres remained optimistic that Cancun will deliver a balanced outcome.

“I see Parties continuing to work hard together to deliver a successful, balanced outcome that must be the next significant step in the world’s long road towards a full solution to the climate challenge."

Under the common umbrella of the United Nations, where every country has a voice, the Mexican Presidency of the UN climate change conference has set up a transparent, fully inclusive process. All countries are free to decide to participate and to join in finding the essential middle ground that will deliver success.

“I see a willingness of Parties to move positions. I see active and open exchange in the ministerial consultations, including how to reach political conciliation on anchoring mitigation proposals that have been made in 2010, clarity on the Kyoto Protocol, establishment of a fund for long-term finance, and decisions to implement action on forests, technology transfer and adaptation."

"But more needs to be done. I call on all sides to redouble their efforts and use creative ways to reach solutions, to travel the last mile to a successful outcome,” said Figueres

Italy and the Pacific unveil development finance model

By Stanley Simpson, Climate Pasifika Media

9 December Cancun Mexico - The government of Italy and Pacific island countries today unveiled a model for international cooperation they say can generate action on the ground at remarkable speed and is an example of what to do in practice to address the threat of climate change.

Further – they say the project ensures ownership to communities most affected by the negative effects of climate change.

The partnership between Italy and 14 Pacific island countries is in the area of renewable energy projects with some pioneering, dynamic and groundbreaking projects being undertaken across the region.

It started with a signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in 2007, and was further strengthened in 2008 when the government of Austria and the Municipality of Milan in Italy also joined and contributed to the partnership.

Italy’s Minister for the Environment, Land and Sea Stefania Prestigiacomo revealed today that more than 20 renewable energy projects have been designed and implemented in the 14 countries.

“These projects are contributing to assess the islands vulnerability to long term climate change effects to implement adaptation measures to strengthen the island energy infrastructure through the development of the local renewable energy potential,” she said. “It also ensures increased access to energy services of the islands population particularly for the remote rural communities."

Prestigiacomo stressed that the projects are designed at local scale and are strictly based on islands priorities and specific needs.

Nauru MP, the Hon. Dominic Tabuna in response said Italy and the Pacific have pioneered a unique development system model that delivers tangible results on the ground in a fraction of time. He outlined several reasons for the success of the model:

1. It works because it relies on streamlined vetting and approval process conducted directly by the donors and the recipients. This arrangement avoids unnecessary bottlenecks encountered under other models – where multiple layers of review – often by third parties – delay the commencement of critical projects

2. It works because it establishes clear funding priorities – in this case – renewable energy – giving clear guidance to project planners while also facilitating the review and approval process

3. It works because it operates out of New York at the United Nations. Tabuna says the Pacific challenge has always been its geographical remoteness which makes international coordination very difficult. Only in New York does the Pacific have the permanent presence of 11 Pacific island countries.

“The programme has been a wonderful success. We think it provides an alternative to multi-layered models and could provide a valuable model for the delivery of climate change finance,” says Tabuna.

He stated his belief that this was the single most effective funding model for the Pacific.

“It is responsive to the challenges we currently face in the Pacific. The model has the potential to usher in a new era of development assistance based on mutual trust and cooperation."

High level statement: Republic of the Marshall Islands

Hon. Mr. Ruben Zachkras, Minister In Assistance to the President, Republic of the Marshall Islands

Madame President, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

“While the Marshall Islands understands the reluctance of some nations to fully commit to binding and definitive agreements at this time, we are also deeply concerned that if there is not a consensus to undertake serious preventative and restorative action on a global scale, time may run out.”

Those are the words spoken in 1992 at the Rio Earth Summit by late Marshall Islands President and Iroij His Excellency Amata Kabua. Two decades later, and today – in Cancun – time is a luxury that the most vulnerable, those at the frontline, can no longer afford to squander on impossibly grand political agendas. However imperfect the start – the international community needs to upscale action now, and to look beyond both the petty differences of negotiators, and the underlying deep political wounds.

I can repeat all of the words that Marshallese have been saying for twenty years – that our nation is barely one meter above sea level, with no higher ground – that our nation is now facing a serious risk of losing our statehood to sea level rise. I can repeat our well-known prior positions. But you have heard these views so many times that perhaps your ears have become too numb.

But today I will do more than again repeat our urgent call – today I will tell you what is now taking place on the ground in one of the world's lowest lying nations. We are committed to implementing our national climate policy - leading towards firm action on adaptation particularly by conserving at least 30% of our near shore marine resources and 20% of our agro forestry resources by 2020, and to cut our own emissions – already very insignificant - by 40 percent by 2020. These are very real actions we have no choice but to carry out to give our local communities hope for a climate-resilient future. This is a future that we can only achieve through our own political commitment – coupled with the solidarity and partnership from the international community.

The Marshall Islands will be a visible test for the ultimate success – or failure – of fast start finance. In the higher politics of an important effort to boost better accounting for fast start finance, everyone seems to have lost focus of the overwhelming urgency of effective implementation, and of the need for mutual actions by donors and recipients needed to ensure results. The longer we wait – even a few years – the greater the costs and risks. It is unacceptably dangerous to delay action – not only a moral outrage, but on the cusp of a very legal wrong which will be squarely at the doorstep of the United Nations.

The Marshall Islands is already taking our own bold steps to help mobilize fast start financing – with our own Fast Start response. Our climate roadmap has laid the foundation for a national policy. Our national energy plan is the basis of our emissions commitment to cut emissions by 40% – and spells out exactly how we will achieve it. But behind the policies are government officials, who have mobilized a national climate coordinating committee, are moving to initiate and advance a host of concrete project initiatives to upscale and dramatically expand our adaptation and energy efforts, while also building our capacity.

We are not the only ones who seek to have our commitment acknowledged and fulfilled. The Republic of the Marshall Islands also strongly supports the 23 million people of Taiwan, who seek to have their own emissions actions – one of the strongest in the Asian rim – acknowledged through active observer participation in the UNFCCC.

Finally Madame President,

In the midst of what threatens to become a perpetual negotiation, we have forgotten the very foundation of the UNFCCC Convention itself – which already binds all of us to some very fundamental commitments and actions.

The international community has an inarguable responsibility to respond to the political crisis on climate with innovative solutions which build momentum through action – through defining what we can do instead of what we cannot – and to stretch our collective aspirations to ensure the survival of low-lying nations, even when present pathways are uncertain and ultimately inadequate.

It is the achievement of action by which future generations will sit in judgment of our vital conclusions.

Let me conclude by thanking you Madam President and the Government and people of Mexico for the excellent arrangement and leadership in steering these critical discussions.

Komol tata, Muchas gracias.

Leaders of Samoa, Nauru and Kiribati tell their stories and seek political leadership on climate change

By Makereta Komai, Climate Pasifika Media in Cancun, Mexico

Leaders Dialogue image courtesy of UNFCCC

09 DECEMBER 2010 CANCUN --- Samoan Prime Minister did not mince his words when he told the international community ‘we need your technology but don’t use the islands as a testing ground.’

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi was part of a high level panel of world leaders that’s simultaneously trying to find solutions to reach an acceptable outcome here in Cancun that will reverse the climate crisis.

“Technology must be appropriate and affordable for us in the islands. We should not be used as a dumping ground for obsolete technology, said the Samoan Prime Minister. 

"To benefit from these technologies, we cannot do it alone but need the partnership of the private ector and the multilateral donors", he added.

Also on the panel were the Presidents of Kiribati and Nauru, who spoke from the heart and reminded the international community of their obligations to ensure their nations remain on the face of the earth.

“I have been asked several times in parliament about resources to build sea walls to protect the outer islands from rising sea level. My replies have been yes, we have done the studies and the costs involved but we have no resources."

“It’s now a year after Copenhagen, and we still have not received any o f the promised money", said President Tong.

The Kiribati leader, who is a well known advocate for vulnerable states said the situation is so grim for Kiribati that, ‘as a nation, we might not even be part of these negotiations in the next decade.’

He suggested to the chair of the dialogue, the President of Mexico, the need for world leaders to intervene and rescue the negotiations.

“I don’t know whether it’s too late in the process now but the climate change negotiations need a political and humanitarian decision.  I don’t know whether we need to convince the negotiators but, we as Leaders need to sit down and make decisions on issued that negotiators cannot resolve", said President Tong.

Kiribati did not support the Copenhagen Accord in 2009 but recently associated itself with the Accord to access the fast start finance package that accompanied the Accord.

Similarly, President Marcus Stephen of Nauru, with few words expressed the gravity of the effects of climate change on his home island

“Our priority is survival before financing,  Financing is perfect for us to adapt to the changes that we are seeing but survival is our immediate need."

President Nauru was responding to the comments by the President Felipe Calderon who said that ‘perfect may be the enemy of the good.’

He rejected any notion that the small island nations were trying to ‘derail’ the negotiations but merely putting their case for the world to see.

“1.5 degree Celsius is what the science is saying and we cannot ignore that", said President Stephen.

Pacific Island nations, together with other small island developing states in the Caribbean and Indian Ocean have lobbied for global temperatures be limited to well below 1.5 degree Celsius and concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere stabilise at around 350 parts per million. 

The group of 43 nations also want global greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) to peak by 2015 and decline thereafter. They also want Annex 1 parties to the UN Climate Convention (rich and industrialised nations) to reduce their GHG emissions by more than 45 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 and more than 95 percent by 2050, given their historical responsibility.

 Below is the Statement made by the Hon. Tuilaepa Sailele Malilegaoi, the Prime Minister of Samoa at the second Panel of "Heads of State or Government Dialogues" on "The struggle against climate change, what would our legacy be?" at Moon Palace Hotel, Cancun, Mexico, 9 December 2010.

Mr President,
Ladies and Gentlemen

Leaders who spoke before me had given us rare insights on how we should own up individually and collectively to our responsibility to protect our environment for future generations.

My input, by necessity, will be through the perspectives of Samoa, a small island developing state in the Pacific Ocean. Already we have quite a diverse and colorful menu and hopefully my contribution will give it a Pacific tropical flavor.

Let me respond to the five questions posed one by one.  

1) Which characteristics should an economic development model have in order for it to be sustainable?

From Samoa’s perspective, development must be country owned and country led and should be a bottom-up approach through an extensive consultation and negotiation process utilizing both traditional channels and structures. Moreover, development should be country focused & country tailored taking into account the physical, socio-economic and political circumstances and capacities as well as the aspirations of the people.  

Underpinning all this is the need for bold leadership and a stable government capable and willing to provide an enabling environment for people’s views to be articulated and to help strengthen the private sector’s role as the engine of growth.

In the context of climate change, we need to bear in mind that as much as the challenges of climate change are the product of man’s actions, the existing technologies, lifestyles and level of consumption by society, one hopes that these same challenges will bring forth a wave of innovative solutions to help mitigate against the negative impacts of climate change.

Importantly, what seems to have endured in any model, be it economic, social, military or political is an integrated approach that allows innovation to build on and strengthen indigenous, local or existing systems.  As local ownership of any policy or model, adaptation or mitigation, is critical to its long terms success.

2) How can we ensure that there is sustained and sufficient financing for climate change in the long term?

Samoa’s adaptation and mitigation funding needs will continue to outstrip the level of resources available to it at any given time.

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) as the Convention’s financial mechanism had a successful 5th replenishment. This is positive news for most of the Pacific island states that will get national allocations of GEF resources for the first time, after being recipients for many years mainly of enabling activities. As well, the decision to trial out on a pilot basis direct access of parties through accredited national or regional implementing agencies is long overdue.

Outside of GEF, there is funding potential in the Adaptation Fund under the Kyoto Protocol. The line of parties queuing up with requests for financial resources under this modality is getting longer, not shorter, and the current level of resources is insufficient to accommodate all the requests.

How can the financing be sustained?
This can partly be achieved by all, or most of the following being realized;
  • the full monetization of the US$5.5 billion replenishment pledges for GEF 5
  • the need for clarity on the level of Fast Start Finance not yet committed and unearmarked and specific criteria for accessing them,
  • Possible increase of the current level of CDM proceeds to the Adaptation Fund
  • More development partners donating generously to the Adaptation Fund
  • Replenishment of the Least Developed Countries Fund and the Special Climate Change Fund respectively through an assessed contribution formula, and not via voluntary pledges as currently is the case;
  • Pursuing bilateral or region-specific arrangements for funding towards climate-related projects
  • Coming into force of the new Green/Climate Fund  etc

3 What are some of the trends in mitigation and adaptation?

The Pacific island countries are heavily reliant on fossil fuels for energy, electricity and transportation, yet their 0.03 % of global emissions is relatively insignificant to solving of the climate change problem.

This however has not deterred Pacific island countries from undertaking both regional and national level mitigation projects on a voluntary basis. Samoa is amongst these countries, and has adopted a national energy policy to become carbon-free by 2020. Similarly, Tonga, Vanuatu, Cook Islands, Marshall Islands and others are undertaking national level initiatives under various funding mechanisms.

The magnitude and cost of climate change and the fact that small island states are right up there with the rest doing their share to adapt and mitigate against the adverse effects of climate change within the confines of limited resources availability, sometimes at great expense, underscore their determination to be part of the global solution. 

On the adaptation side, some key initiatives in the Pacific include the mainstreaming of climate change into sectoral and to national development planning, integrating climate change with disaster risk reduction and education and awareness through information dissemination and capacity building.

Renewable energy, ocean energy, solar power and hydro electricity all have appeals for the Pacific islands given the plentiful supply of some of these inexhaustible resources like sunlight, wind, waves and ocean etc. Yet start up costs and overall maintenance can be challenges though not insurmountable.

 4) Is existing technology enough to face the challenges of climate change?

Technology must be appropriate and affordable. It must be suitable to the conditions in the islands both in terms of the weather, terrain, population size and even distance from sources of expertise and supplies for maintenance purposes. Importantly, the islands should not be used as testing or dumping grounds for obsolete, inferior and untested technology no matter how it was procured.

A genuine concern is the relatively small sizes of the islands, their markets, populations and the lack of economies of scales.  Combined, they will serve to discourage potential investors from investing or selling climate-related technology in large quantities in the islands. Effectively this means that for the islands to benefit from any new technology, they will have to access it via partnerships with the Public sector, i.e. developed countries through bilateral or other funding arrangements.

5) How can we teach the future generations to face these changes?

Samoa has been concerned with the lack of progress on the issue of education and awareness under the Convention and is happy to see that there is new impetus to address this.

We have been working on a number of initiatives to mainstream climate change into our school curriculum and found that the best approach is not to have a stand-alone climate change course or an elective course. The more efficient way is to include climate change modules with the existing curriculum that is being taught for the purpose of national exams. It is feasible to incorporate climate change issues in different types of lessons, from mathematics’, social science and physical science to literacy and expressive arts.  We need to assist the teachers by facilitating easy access to lesson modules they can use in the context of teaching towards the national exams.

The regional meteorology work is assisted by installing weather stations at schools that are maintained and monitored by the students who in turn gain a better understanding of climate variability and climate change.

A climate change documentary festival organized 2 years ago by SPREP resulted in 17 movies produced to educate the people of the industrialized countries of the stark reality that Pacific islands face. Once they realize the importance of Annex1 countries taking action, perhaps they could put greater pressure on their national leaders to help stop this climate change disaster.  

Alternatively, may be a summary version of the movies can be produced for kindergarten levels. Perhaps by aiming our message at a more simple audience we could drive home the message more forcefully that inaction is placing small island states in greater peril than people will care to admit.

Finally, what should our legacy be?

It has been a long and frustrating journey of high expectations and shattered hopes especially for small island developing states. They contributed the least to the causes of climate change, yet stand to suffer the most and least able to adapt effectively to the adverse impacts.

Notwithstanding these grim realities, Pacific small island nations continue to negotiate in good faith. Even if everyone deserts the negotiating table for whatever reason, we will continue to be there and hopeful that reason will prevail, and the time will come when we are finally able to turn a global problem into a global opportunity, where our focus should be on the positive of climate change, not on its negative consequences and when, as the true world leaders we are, we should just fix our mistakes and those of our predecessors, after all, the buck stops here and climate change is happening under our watch. That’s should be our legacy.

High level statement: Solomon Islands

Statement by Hon. John Moffat Fugui MP, Minister for Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology.

For the full statement, please download the pdf file at:

Pacific voices touch Cancun

Stanley Simpson, Climate Pasifika Media

9 December Cancun Mexico - The songs, dance and stories of Pacific island people today touched many in Cancun, Mexico – bringing a 'real'and emotional element to global climate change talks.

Many people in the audience at the Jaguar room in Cancunmesse shed silent tears at the struggle for survival being waged in the islands, but were also entertained through song and dance – portraying the vibrant cultures and identities of the Pacific that are now under threat.

Speakers and performers were from Kiribati, Tuvalu, the Cook Islands and Fiji.

"We love our traditional dance,” Kiribati’s Marie Tiimon told those gathered. “We are not just entertaining you today but also trying to tell you that these are the cultures that will be lost if nothing is done about climate change.”

“These cultures have been passed down from generation to generation.”

Through their different voices and performances the Pacific island representatives provided a powerful expression of the faces, sounds, and images of climate change – as well as the efforts of courageous, happy and committed people to hold on to their homeland and identity.

“We are not sitting back,” says Claire of Kiribati. “Climate change is a life and death issue for us.”

Luana from the Cook Islands danced a traditional dance signifying “We three” – Melanesia, Polynesia and Micronesia.

“We are all in the same boat of climate change,” she said.
Despite the singing and dancing there was no mistaking the urgency of the situation and the heart-wrenching plea of the people and children of the islands to save their future.

Taukiei Kitana of Tuvalu presented ‘A sinking feeling’ and impressed how smaller Pacific islands were the most vulnerable of the vulnerable to climate change.

“We don’t have to relocate if we do something now,” he urged.

Tiimon echoed his words saying: “We love our islands – we don’t want to move out.”

Tasi from the Kiribati Ministry of Environment added: “Our ancestors shed their blood fighting for our land. We cant afford to lose our land to climate change.”

“Most of our people are fearful and afraid of losing our lands.”

It was a creative, engaging and powerful presentation of the climate change situation in the Pacific and an expression of the Pacific peoples commitment to fight one of the greatest challenges of our time.

Luana Bosanquet Heays and Ulamila Wragg - Cook Islands

Singing Farwell song

Audience participating in Kiribati applause

MC of the Event

Speaker from Kiribati and Tuvalu

High level statements: Niue

Statement delivered by the Minister of Meteorology and Climate Change Department of Niue

Scene@COP16: The Pacific community

Cook Islands delegation with members of the Project Survival Pacific
Ambassador Beck, Chair

Netatua Pelesikoti - SPREP, Makereta Komai - Climate Pasifika

Fiji delegation

Stanley Simpson - Climate Pasifika/Fiji Broadcasting Corporation
Nanette Woonton - SPREP

Ben Namakin - WWF

Tuvalu delegation
Niue delegation members and friend