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Holistic Approach To Climate Change: A-G

We need to take on a holistic approach when we talk about climate change, says Acting Prime Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. He said this to Pacific leaders and representatives at the
02 Aug 2016 09:12
Holistic Approach To Climate Change: A-G
Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum with the Green Climate Fund board co-chair Ewen Mcdonald and Zaheer Fakir during the Green Climate Fund Regional Workshop yesterday.Photo:Vilimoni Vaganalau.

We need to take on a holistic approach when we talk about climate change, says Acting Prime Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

He said this to Pacific leaders and representatives at the opening of the Green Climate Fund Regional Workshop at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat headquarters in Nasese, Suva yesterday.

“The reality is that with Pacific Island countries, you cannot separate climate change adaptation measures and say there are separate issues regarding development. They are very much intertwined,” he said.

“Climate change of course is a very critical development issue for us. It’s also a survival issue for us in the Pacific.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum also highlighted the vulnerability of Pacific Island countries during climatic events such as Tropical Cyclone Winston in February.

“The reality is that we’ve lost a lot of lives. We had vast parts of Fiji completely wiped out,” he said.

“Of course our development partners Australia and NZ came to our assistance and various other countries, but it has set back our economy quite substantially.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said this indicated the vulnerability of Pacific Island countries.

“One single climatic event can wipe out your economic growth,” he said.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said there was also a need to take a holistic approach when talking about understanding and the accessibility to funding such as the Green Climate Fund.

“The major issue that we have been highlighting for the past few years has been the lack of capacity in Pacific island countries to be able to understand and also to access funds that are available,” he said.

“We have a momentum at the moment. There’s an increased awareness on the need to access these funds and increase awareness to be able to know how to access these funds,” he said.

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is a mechanism to assist developing countries adapt and mitigate against climate change.

It is already supporting Pacific Island countries to access funding and undertake low-emissions and climate-resilient development.

Six Pacific Island countries have a total of $2.6 million ($US1.3m) in funding approved through the GCF’s Readiness and Preparatory Support Programme in addition to the approved $138.03 million ($US67 million) in funding for projects in Tuvalu and Fiji.

The three-day workshop is attended by relevant stakeholders to galvanise action on the GCF in the region led by the co-chairs of the GCF Board Ewen McDonald (Australia) and Zaheer Fakir (South Africa).

It is aimed at helping Pacific island countries build their internal capacity to access GCF funding; and to develop country-driven ideas and concepts into a pipeline of concrete funding proposals for GCF support.

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

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