OPINION: Pacific Islands Forum- See what climate change is really doing

Tuesday August 13, 2019 Written by Published in Opinion
Children swim in among the World War II debris at the beach of Funafuti, the main island of Tuvalu. 19081212 Children swim in among the World War II debris at the beach of Funafuti, the main island of Tuvalu. 19081212

This year at the Pacific Islands Forum they have discussed Tuvalu’s Declaration on Climate Change for the Survival of Pacific Small Island Developing States.

The concern from all the Pacific leaders is there, but how much of a voice do our small nations really have?

During the first meeting, the Climate Change Sautalaga, Tuvalu’s Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga called upon the Green Climate Fund to simplify its procedures to facilitate easier access and disbursement for pacific small developing states.

The Green Climate Fund is reliant on countries Australia and New Zealand who generously finance the fund.

Today in a press conference with Prime Minister Sopoaga, one journalist asked a very interesting question which made us all listen in closely.

She asked if the Tuvalu government would take the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on a tour around Funafuti so he could actually see the impacts of climate change.

Sopoaga said the Australian Prime Minister was most welcome to do that and endorsed the idea, saying all of the leaders should tour the most damaged parts of the island and see the people who are struggling.

I agree. This is also our own Prime Minister Henry Puna’s first visit to Tuvalu and I am looking forward to asking him if he has seen some of the narrower parts of Funafuti.

I think the interaction from the leaders with the country and its people has been very limited.

Isn’t the point of hosting the Pacific Islands Forum in Tuvalu so the Pacific leaders can see the island’s climate change impacts and talk to the Tuvalu community?

Sopoaga said he firmly believes climate change represents the single greatest threat to the security of Pacific Island countries.

Then show us what’s actually happening in your country.

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