Pacific Islands

Push for Pacific nations to engage with IPCC

The IPCC is the international body for assessing the science related to climate change, and was set up in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organisation and United Nations Environment Programme.

The IPCC's newly elected mitigation co-chair, Professor Jim Skea, was in New Zealand recently and met with Pacific representatives at Victoria University.

Professor Skea says Pacific countries were instrumental in pushing to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees by the end of the century at the Paris climate change conference.

Pacific youth to “Sound the Alarm”

This is a music competition called “Sound the Alarm” which is open to Pacific youths between the ages of 18-35 and runs from Dec 1 2015, to Jan 16, 2016.  

Countries eligible to participate are PNG, the Cook Islands, Fiji, Federal States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

The competition calls on youths in the Pacific to share their views on corruption and suggest innovative solutions on how to address the issue through music by using their voices.

New Paris text must ‘officially’ include Loss and damage

The Pacific region faces the challenge of losing 3 entire nations due to climate change – including the low-laying atoll islands of Tuvalu, Kiribati and Marshal Islands while Nauru and some of the smaller islands in Fiji also face displacement related to climate change.

“While many are relieved by the fact that a ‘bridging proposal’ was tabled on Thursday the fact that some developed countries have openly challenged this shows that they are not ready to discuss this in the ‘formal Paris text’,” says François Martel, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Development Forum.

Pacific Island nations accuse Australia of failing to 'bat for neighbours'

President Anote Tong is among leaders of some of the world's most vulnerable islands calling for big polluting nations to stand up at the United Nations summit and ensure their survival.

As the richest country in the region, Australia faces Pacific calls to push for a strong deal that limits global warming to 1.5 degrees.

But so far, Tong hasn't seen evidence of that from the Australians.

“They've not been doing any batting at the moment for us,” he told AAP in Paris on Tuesday.

Hawaii Bigeye tuna industry reels two months after reaching quotas

Arbitrary quotas not linked to conservation objectives are keeping them tied at the docks. These struggling vessels and small businesses they support are accumulating millions of dollars in debt each month, causing untold anxiety for the local fishing community and consumers.

The rest of the Hawaii fleet has been forced out of its primary fishing grounds in the Western and Central Pacific and must travel more than a thousand miles into the Eastern Pacific to set hooks to catch bigeye tuna.

Time for global action on climate change says Palau’s President

Over the past three years, Palau’s government agencies, civil society and the private sector have worked proactively to complete this policy which has as its vision “Happy, healthy, sustainable and resilient communities in a changing world”.

Pacific Climate Warriors celebrate Pope’s leadership on climate change

“We have come from the Pacific Islands to celebrate the leadership of Pope Francis on climate change and to pray for the islands and the leaders that will decide our fate at COP21 in Paris,” said Koreti Tiumalu, 350.org’s Pacific coordinator.

“We brought mats from the islands made specifically for this journey which we used to pray on over the last three days in St. Peter’s Square. We wanted to offer these mats from the Pacific as a symbol of our gratitude for the Pope’s leadership and his encyclical—Laudato Si,” she added.

Experts predict continuing dry for much of the Pacific

This comes after up to six months of well below normal rainfall had been received.

The forecast from New Zealand's NIWA and the Pacific Islands Meteorological Services says in Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu, after three months of very dry conditions, below normal rainfall can be expected through to the end of the year.

And it says New Caledonia can expect the below drier condition of recent months to continue through October to December.

It says countries in the central Pacific, such as Tuvalu and Kiribati, can expect little water stress in the next few months.

Pato Seeks US support on significant Pacific Islands Issues Including Climate Change

Representing Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, Foreign Minister Pato raised the issues at a meeting of Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Leaders with the United States Assistant Secretary of State, Mr Danny Russell in New York on Friday.

Minister Pato further expressed his desire for United States’ backing at the COP21 Conference in Paris this year on climate issues that are of vital significance to lives and communities in the Pacific.

Kiribati meeting to make plan for climate migrants

Kiribati will next week host a summit that will also involve the Marshall Islands, Tuvalu, the Maldives, Tokelau and others, brought together under the aegis of the Prince Albert of Monaco Foundation.

The Kiribati Government says the 'High Level Meeting on Climate Induced Migration' is about the countries affected taking action.

The Kiribati Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Akka Rimon, says sea level rise is happening and becoming more severe, and the atoll states want to ensure climate induced migrants are catered for in a dignified way.