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Palau President Tommy Remengesau Jr. said that despite the toll of the coronavirus to the world, it must not forget the impact of climate change as well.
Remengesau was one of the speakers in webinar organised by the Ocean Policy Research Institute of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation (OPRI-SPF), The Nippon Foundation, and the Economist Group on “Ensuring a robust ‘blue’ recovery in Asia and the Pacific.”
The pandemic he said, has shifted many nations’ focus away from climate change but urged that leaders need to keep the discussion and action going on this looming crisis.
“We need to slow and stop climate change if we are going to address our ocean crisis, and extreme weather is just one example of how these two are related, “he said.
He reiterated that the ocean can also be a source of solutions to mitigating and adapting to climate change.
“Last year, the Panel commissioned a report that found that the ocean could contribute up to a fifth of the emissions reductions needed to meet the Paris Agreement target. So there is a lot of untapped potentials there, in areas such as renewable energy, blue carbon, and sustainable seafood. But we do need the partnerships to tap this potential,” he said,
He said but while celebrating the ocean, ocean faces many challenges from overfishing, warming waters, bleaching reefs.
“A crisis that has not been paused by the pandemic. Indeed, the coronavirus pandemic is also bringing with it a pandemic of pollution and plastic use.”
Remengesau in the webinar said while Palau, have remained COVID-free so far – “but we have not been immune to its effects, and like so many others, are facing an economic crisis.”
He said while Palau prepares for recovery, it is their goal to make a “blue one.”
“This depends on making investments now that support sustainable futures. And the ocean is no exception to this,” he said.
He said with Palau’s National Marine Sanctuary (PNMS) future or ocean sustainability of the nation cannot move forward if climate change impact is not addressed.
SOURCE: ISLAND TIMES/PACNEWS
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