16 OCTOBER 2008 APIA (Pacnews) --- The outgoing director of the Secretariat of the Pacific Environment Programme (SPREP), Asterio Takeshy says the future of many small low lying atolls depends on what Pacific negotiators can achieve from the last two rounds of negotiations on climate change.
Climate change experts from all over the Pacific are meeting in the Samoan capital, Apia this week to strategise their positions at upcoming climate change Conference of the Parties (COP14) negotiations in Poznan, Poland in December this year and in Copenhagen early next year.
Part of this strategy includes the involvement of the media to disseminate information on the upcoming two ‘important and key’ negotiations, said Mr Takeshy, while addressing regional journalists in Apia.
SPREP and UNESCO have jointly organised a media capacity building training to assist regional media to be educated on positions taken by Pacific negotiators at these international negotiations.
“The power of the pen extremely useful – it’s important for the media to be there to constantly remind our leaders of their moral obligation.
Mr Takeshy, who completes his second term with SPREP early next year, admitted that the region did not include its media as part of the climate change negotiations because of lack of funding.
“The media is an important stakeholder and want to change that. We hope the commitment made today by the Swiss Ambassador might help support the media attend the upcoming two negotiations in Poznan (Poland) and Copenhagen.
“Its looking favourable, said Mr Takeshy.
On the negotiations, Mr Takeshy said the Pacific is pushing for a halt at one degree Celsius or less the rise in temperature.
“That’s the magic number our negotiators and like minded countries and states are trying to achieving in renewing the expiring provisions of the Kyoto Protocol.
“They would like the reduction in emission at such an output that it doesn’t produce heat wave that goes beyond one degree because if it does then the sea level rise that will be caused by the warming will in fact inundate many of our islands. This is the prediction of the scientists who say that if you don’t, then sea level rise will actually inundate many coastal areas,” said Mr Takeshy.
He said if the Pacific is able to get the support of the G77 group of countries including China, ‘then we have some hope for the future.’
G77 is a large negotiating alliance of developing countries that focuses on numerous international topics, including climate change. The G-77 was founded in 1967 under the auspices of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). It seeks to harmonize the negotiating positions of its 131 member states.
A new successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol, which sets binding targets for the reduction of green house gas emissions by industrialised countries will come into force on 2012…..PNS (ENDS)