KOROR Palau – Representatives from Pacific island nations gathered in Palau April 14 -15 for the National Stakeholders meeting to discuss national strategies to cope with the adverse impact of climate change.
Palau Vice President and Finance Minister Kerai Mariur said Palau and other island nations in the Pacific combat daily the struggle to recover from the adverse effects of salt-water intrusion to taro patches and the declining fish stock that has a great impact on food production.
“The risks of extreme weather conditions inflict widespread economic losses as we have seen most recently in Japan one of Palau’s closes ally and friend “” Mariur said in his opening remarks. “”Palau looks forward to this consultation with [United Nations Development Programme] experts government representatives and regional partners for additional knowledge and insights from current international dialogue of climate change policies.””
Mariur said the regional meeting was a good way for Palau to learn from other nations on the current climate change adaptation approaches best practices and existing institutional gaps which prevent better access to and optimum utilization of climate change funds.
“”We want to learn about new multilateral funding sources as well as innovative solutions in climate financing but must insist also that available resources be spent for the implementation of programs and projects at the country level where they can best help our people “” Mariur added.
Mariur noted that Palau like any other small nation needs support to strengthen its national strategies to cope with the adverse impacts of climate change. Palau hopes to be able to come up with a course of action a Pacific roadmap built upon sound donor harmonization and effective aid coordination in preparation for the Conference of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol meeting in Durban South Africa this November.
UNDP Deputy Resident Representative Toily Kurbanov said stronger and more sustainable results can be achieved in development and climate change adaptation by strengthening existing national institutions rather than creating something completely new and by aligning with national systems rather than introducing more processes.
The workshop organized by UNDP complemented other recent regional meetings on climate change as well as work being undertaken by regional organizations on the options available to Pacific Island countries to access and effectively deliver climate change adaptation initiatives.
Among the participants of the meeting are senior government officials from Fiji Federated States of Micronesia Kiribati Marshall Islands Palau Samoa Solomon Islands Tuvalu Tonga and Vanuatu as well as representatives of regional agencies and civil society organizations.
The two-day workshop also discussed the entry points to ensure Pacific Island countries can most effectively engage in the ongoing international discussions on climate change both collectively and as individual nations.