Talk Time Over, Need to Act Now
Palau President Tommy E Remengesau says the time for talking about oceans and climate change is over.
In Suva yesterday, Mr Remengesau, a leading advocate on these issues, said this was time to act.
He is here with other regional leaders to attend the preparatory meeting at the Grand Pacific Hotel for the United Nations Ocean Conference in New York in June
“That is the essence. Talking and talking and talking is already past. Planning is good but planning, planning and only planning is a setback. I think we now need to act,” he said.
He said it was time “we stop looking at ourselves as small islands people and to begin looking at ourselves as big oceans people.”
President Remengesau said the days for debates, planning and discussions were gone. Now, he said, was the time to act.
“First of all, this is a golden opportunity for the Pacific Islands to raise their voice to the international community on the importance of the oceans – what the ocean does for us, for our livelihoods, for our food security, for our economic security and for our cultural security.
“In that sense, because of the importance of this issue, I am sure the rest of the Pacific are very, very appreciative of the leadership that Fiji is undertaking to unite all of us and to ensure that we have a united voice going to the important Oceans Conference in New York.
“Fiji is a big island state. Fiji also leads in the understanding that sustainability is a key challenge for everyone. We support the efforts being done and undertaken by Fiji in the process of preparing ourselves, of uniting ourselves with one voice and making sure that the prevailing issues of big island states and small island states and important challenges are all on the table and with one voice, we can present our situation to the rest of the community.
“We have the same situation, very grave situation as Fiji as well as the other Pacific Island states. In Palau, for instance, sea level rise is very critical.
“Sea waters are seeping into people’s living rooms during high tides, there are unpredictable waves of typhoons and sea surges.
“It is the ocean we need to take care of. Without the oceans, none of us would survive, I am telling you.”
Edited by Jonathan Bryce