26-27 July, Leaders of Pacific SIDs including Samoa met in Suva, Fiji for the Second Climate Action Partnership Program, to review outcomes of the Climate Change Conference of the Parties in Bonn (COP23) 2017 to prepare for COP 24 in Poland 2018. Australia, New Zealand and the territories were also invited and contributed during informal sessions. Fiji holding the Presidency of the COP23 continues to hold regional dialogue to harness a common coordinated voice to regional priorities endorsed.
Leading up to the Leaders Talanoa Dialogue, there was the Senior Officials Meeting, the Pacific National Determined Contribution (NDC) Meeting and the Global Employers Climate Action Forum. These sessions were designed and scheduled to inform the Leaders Talanoa Dialogue of “where are we”, “where we are going” and “how we are going to get there”.
Critical outcomes of COP23 for the region saw the inclusion of the Gender Action Plan and the Koronivia Initiative for Resilient Agriculture Development, which are milestones to be recognized. In addition, the developments of action of partnership were critical platforms for regional collaboration to sustain collective responsibility to have our priorities heard and acted on. The Pacific NDC Hub to canvass and harness efforts to meet targets has been established with the offices to be setup with SPC in Fiji and SPREP in Samoa.
Reflections on COP23 revisited principles of prioritization regarding regional and national priorities; visible and consistent representation in the dialogue and negotiation process; robust coordination at all levels, regional and national; strategic procedures, protocols and process for engagement. These were reviewed as critical for preparation to Poland COP24.
Samoa delegation was led by the Honorable Fiame Naomi Mata’afa, Deputy Prime Minister, Ulu Bismarck Crawley, CEO MNRE and Ms Anne Rasmussen, Climate Change Negotiator. The Honorable Deputy Prime Minister delivered the closing address.
In her address, the Deputy Prime Minister congratulated the Hon Prime Minister and the people of Fiji for a successful chairmanship, the first and monumental “Pacific COP”. She also thanked the Pacific countries, the development partners, the regional agencies (CROP +) and everyone that contributed to a very successful campaign. She reminded the conference of COP23 lessons which reassured that impacts of Climate Change has wider implications thus the need for responsive and effective interventions for immediate action. Furthermore, she warrants sound and focused assessments with relevant regional and national prioritization modalities to ensure collective ownership by countries that triggers and attract resources for implementation.
Furthermore, she reaffirmed that visible and consistent representation is critical at all aspects of the dialogue process ensuring leadership by members with the engagement of CROP+ to provide the necessary technical support. “We as a region require being clear of our collective priorities that is shaped and processed through effective mechanisms, procedures and protocols for dialogue and the negotiations process.”
It is envisioned that the Cop 24 shall adopt a fair implementation guideline for the Paris Agreement. This shall include a collective push for the endorsement by IPCC & Parties of the newly released report making the 1.5 degree goal possible, with practical pathways already designed; simplified access to climate finance, technology transfer and capacity building; and accelerating efforts won Ocean resilience, Loss and Damage. However, it requires political will and action by the global community.
The upcoming Leaders Forum in Nauru, September 2018 is seen as an opportunity to reconfirm the collective submissions as a region for the upcoming COP 24. Furthermore, the midterm review of the SAMOA PATHWAY this year in October, in Samoa will be another important avenue for the Pacific SIDS to harness collaboration from all member countries to advance our priorities.