Thursday, February 18, 2010

Urgent matters on climate change are addressed by the Pacific Islands in Vanuatu

Rachel Pollak in Media Global: Last week, meetings were held in Vanuatu to discuss the challenges that still face the small island developing states (SIDS) of the Pacific region. The meeting was organized by the Vanuatu government in collaboration with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) and the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA.)

Nancy Lewis, director of the research program at the East-West Center, told MediaGlobal “There were three high level meetings in Vanuatu last week to address Pacific Island development goals in the context of the current economic crisis. Climate change is one of the significant challenges they face due to their small size, limited resources and relative isolation.”

The meeting was prefaced by the UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen, which took place on 9 December 2009. The conference in Copenhagen, which included 192 nations, raised important issues in regards to global warming. But some countries, like Tuvalu, expressed dissatisfaction with the agreements concerning climate change. Tuvalu proposed that the target climate to keep the world’s temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius should instead be set at 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The meetings in Vanuatu also addressed issues raised in the Mauritius Strategy, which was a program for action adopted by 129 countries in 2005 to address development challenges of SIDS. Lewis told MediaGlobal: “The first [meeting in Vanuatu] was a high level dialogue to review the implementation of the Mauritius Strategy. The results of this meeting feed into the discussions at the Pacific Conference on the human Face of the Global Economic Crisis, which started on Wednesday, February 10.”….

A sand drawing from Vanuatu, shot by PhillipC, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

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