By Ben Kedoga, NBC PNG
8 July 2013, Nadi, Fiji - The Pacific Island region once again showed its seriousness in addressing climate change and disasters.
Today, the 8th of July, 2013, marked the historical opening of the first Joint Meeting of the 2013 Platform For Disaster Risk Management and Pacific Climate Change Roundtable at the Sofitel Resort in Nadi, Fiji.
Climate change experts within the region and abroad say this is the first globally, for any region in the world to actually develop an integrated approach to deal with disaster risks and climate change challenges.
To those, who have contributed to the staging of this meeting, it is more than just the global first, the 2013 Platform for disaster risk management and Pacific climate change roundtable in fact, signifies the success of many years of hard work by Pacific island countries with support from big countries within the region, stakeholders and partners to reach such a milestone in climate change responses within the region.
This was further emphasised by the Director General of the Secretariat of the South Pacific Community, SPC, Jimmie Rodgers this morning at the official opening of the four day meeting.
“This first joint session of the Pacific Climate Change roundtable and the Pacific Disaster Risk Management Platform brings together experts from the many sectors to begin a journey that will ultimately result in the Pacific Islands region setting the pace for such action globally,” Rodgers said.
He said such opportunities for PICs to engage in dialogue and to collectively influence agenda for change does not come often, thus the 2013 Platform for Disaster Risk Management and Pacific Climate Change Roundtable has been seen as the opportune time to achieve this.
“The important thing is to bring our resources together with one common purpose and that is; what is the best way to integrate our approach to climate change and disaster risk management, so that collectively, from all parties we have one team that can position our region to move forward, we cannot miss this opportunity,” Rodgers added.