PIF calls for global action on climate change


PACIFIC Island Forum Secretary General Henry Puna has highlighted the realities of climate change faced by the Pacific region recently.

He said climate change and sea-level rise are paramount threats endangering the lives, livelihoods, and well-being of Pacific peoples.

“If the world had heeded our calls 10 or 20 years ago, we would not be in this situation, contemplating difficult and complex choices about our homes, ancestral lands, and way of life.” Puna said.

He highlighted the specific challenges of climate-related mobility. The recently endorsed Pacific Regional Framework on Climate Mobility, a global first, has been developed with leadership from Fiji and Tuvalu over four years of inclusive consultations.

The framework places a fundamental priority on allowing Pacific people to remain in their homes while establishing mechanisms to protect the rights and dignity of those who choose to move.

He said the nature of climate mobility requires that all voices be heard. This pioneering framework addresses climate change and disaster-related mobility within the Pacific context, aiming to place our region and people on a more resilient footing.”

Highlighting the need for leadership and collaboration, Puna commended the framework’s underlying principles.

“While we should not be forced to leave our homes, responsible leaders must ensure that mechanisms and pathways are in place to protect the human rights and dignity of our people on the move.” Puna said.

The framework aligns with the Leaders’ Declaration on the Continuity of Statehood and the Protection of Persons, emphasizing the protection of human rights, culture, cultural heritage, identity, and dignity. It emphasizes the duty of states to ensure continuity of statehood for protection to be implemented and endured.

Aligned with the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent, the framework’s implementation will be guided by Pacific values of cooperation, innovation, and respect for diversity and heritage.

Puna expressed anticipation for strengthened engagement with partners, civil society, youth, communities, and regional and international organizations to assist Pacific people in navigating the uncertainties arising from climate change impacts.

Therefore, the Secretary General urged the global community to join hands in addressing the pressing climate challenges faced by the Pacific region.

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