Moana Blue Pacific to make waves at COP26

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Pacific Island delegations at COP26 have a “home away from home” within the venue. Known as the Moana Blue Pacific, this hub will support our 140 island delegates as they strategise and plan across the two weeks of climate change negotiations.

The Twenty-Sixth Conference of the Parties to the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26) is reported to have 25,000 delegates attending. The Moana Blue Pacific will provide our Pacific Island delegates with a base to coordinate their teams and conduct meetings.

The Moana Blue Pacific also hosts 14 side events amplifying the Pacific voice. These events will highlight a range of Pacific climate change experiences, showcasing the leadership that is being demonstrated in addressing these challenges.

Opening today with a special blessing in Glasgow, the Moana Blue Pacific is a partnership with Aotearoa New Zealand managed by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).

“As we look around here this morning– our numbers are indeed small. Many of our leaders, negotiators and colleagues could not make the journey, but their hopes and voices guide and inspire our collective work here,” said Fatumanava Dr. Pa’o Luteru, Ambassador and Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Samoa to the United Nations.

Ambassador Luteru is also Chair of the Pacific Small Islands Developing States.

“The Moana Blue Pacific Space is the Pacific heart of the COP. It is the meeting point of all Pacific voices in the UNFCCC from leaders and champions to our technical negotiators, our youth and climate advocates and activists – it is our Islands in this ocean of COP.”

The Moana Blue Pacific office, meeting room and side events are an adaptation of the Pacific Pavilions that were held at COP24 in Poland and COP25 in Spain. These familiar, popular sights at the UNFCCC Conferences welcomed over 10,000 people in 2018 and then again in 2019, across the two weeks of negotiations.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Pacific Pavilion has had to be adapted for COP26.

In line with safety precautions, it was decided there would not be an “open door” Pacific pavilion scheduled with daily events at COP26. Instead, a private safe space for Pacific Island delegates to hold bilateral meetings, and strategise, was opted for. Social distancing, mask-wearing, daily testing and limited numbers permitted per rooms are a strong feature across the COP26 venue in Glasgow, Scotland.

This year, the Moana Blue Pacific aims to amplify the Pacific voice, safely.

“We came because we have a job to do, together, and this space is for us to work together. Our job is to bring a vision of the other side of the planet, our job is to help the people of this side of the planet understand and imagine the immensity of the Blue Pacific,” said H.E Kay Harrison, Climate Change Ambassador of New Zealand.

“He Waka Eke Noa – there is just one canoe, and we are all in it together and we need all of the people out there to understand He Waka Eke Noa and if we are not in the same canoe, paddling in the same direction caring for one another then we understand what that means.”

Access to the office and meeting room will be coordinated through minimal contact and cleaning will take place in between each gathering.

The Moana Blue Pacific side events at COP26 will take place in a shared pavilion. Attendance will be preassigned to support contact tracing and the slots for the Pacific islands will be held after deep cleaning has been completed.

To keep informed of the events from the Pacific at COP26, a Moana Blue Pacific app is available for cellphones. By downloading the Attendify App, searching Moana Blue Pacific and registering – you will have access to Pacific events and activities at COP26.

The Moana Blue Pacific Office is located next to the Aotearoa New Zealand/Tokelau Office with a shared meeting room between the two. This is situated in Hall 3 at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC).

The Moana Blue Pacific side events will be held on 3, 4, 5, 10 and 11 November in Hall 4 at the SEC. Further information can be found in the Moana Blue Pacific App.

The Moana Blue Pacific at COP26 is a partnership with Aotearoa New Zealand managed by SPREP.

The Twenty-Sixth Conference of the Parties to the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change is held in Glasgow, Scotland from 31 October to 12 November 2021.

For further information, please email moanabluepacific@gmail.com;

SOURCE: SPREP/PACNEWS