NATION

Healthy Oceans Must Be Included in Climate Change Talks: Govt

The workshop, which is co-hosted by the Because the Ocean Initiative group and the Pacific Community with the support of the Govern­ment of Fiji, will end this evening.
07 May 2019 01:05
Healthy Oceans Must Be Included in Climate Change Talks: Govt
World leaders at the Incorporating Oceans into NDCs Workshop at the Holiday Inn Suva on May 6, 2019. Photo: Simione Haravanua

A senior official of the Fijian Government says it is criti­cal that we get the relation­ship between healthy oceans and climate change right in nationally determined contributions.

Taholo Kami, the Special Repre­sentative for Oceans in the Min­istry of Economy, Civil Service, and Communications, made this statement to world leaders yester­day during a workshop focused on incorporating oceans in NDCs (nationally determined contribu­tions).

He added that incorporating the ocean into plans to combat climate change should be of the utmost im­portance to countries like Fiji.

He and other speakers at the event emphasised that the first step to bringing the ocean to the forefront of climate change discussion is to include it in NDCs.

The term NDC refers to efforts by each country to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the im­pact of climate change that were outlined in the Paris Agreement in 2015. The goal of the workshop was to discuss ways in which coun­tries can take into account ocean change into their NDCs.

“We’re on the frontline of the impacts of climate and ocean change,” Mr Kami said, pointing at the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Winton, which was fuelled by a 30-degree temperature change, as an example of the danger climate change poses to countries.

“With all coastal and island coun­tries in the Pacific, we are aware that while we have an almost neg­ligent contribution to the climate change crisis, we live in the reality of its impacts,” Mr Kami said.

Director of Climate and Sustain­ability at the Pacific Community Sylvie Goyet supported Mr Kami’s remarks by emphasising the im­portance of meetings like these in creating real change.

“The ocean is a part of the climate agenda. There will be no climate change without ocean change,” Ms Goyet said. “I expect this workshop to come up with pragmatic recom­mendations.”

The workshop, which is co-hosted by the Because the Ocean Initiative group and the Pacific Community with the support of the Govern­ment of Fiji, will end this evening.

It will be followed up with a Con­ference of Parties (COP) later this year in Santiago, Chile, that will continue discussions how to in­clude the ocean in climate change issues.

Edited by Percy Kean

Feedback: sydnee.gonzalez@fijisun.com.fj



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